Army: Turkey’s Jets Bomb Kurdish Rebel Bases In Iraq

Posted February 3rd, 2012 at 4:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The Turkish military says its jets have bombed three positions in northern Iraq believed to be hideouts of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.

A statement said the jets hit the suspected rebel shelters in Iraq's Zap region near the Turkish border earlier Friday and returned safely after the “effective'' operation.

The military did not provide details about damage or casualties on the ground and there was no immediate confirmation from the rebel group.

Kurdish rebels have long used northern Iraq as a base for hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets.

In a separate development Friday, Turkish troops killed five Kurdish rebels during a fight in Turkey's southeastern Batman province.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

The PKK is labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States.

Clashes between the rebels and Turkish troops have become more frequent in recent months. In December, the warplanes killed 34 smugglers mistaking them for rebels. It was the largest one-day civilian death toll in Turkey's 27-year drive against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The attack sparked Kurdish demonstrations across Turkey and in other countries.