Turkey Vote OKs Strikes on Kurds in Iraq

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 1:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkey's parliament voted Wednesday to extend the government's mandate to order military strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

Lawmakers passed the measure by a wide margin. The current mandate was due to expire on October 17.

Rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party have increased attacks in Turkish territory recently, sometimes targeting civilians.

Last month, Kurdish rebels killed five people during multiple attacks on police facilities in southeastern Turkey. Turkish forces have responded by increasing their airstrikes against suspected rebel bases in northern Iraq.

Turkey, the European Union and the United States regard the PKK as a terrorist group.

In August, Turkey's military said it killed about 160 Kurdish rebels in cross-border air and artillery strikes.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara's “patience is running out” in dealing with the rebels, who have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people.