Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish separatists in Iraq

July 24th, 2008 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, July 24 (DPA) Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish rebel targets inside northern Iraq, the Turkish General Staff announced Thursday. In a short statement on its official website, the General Staff said Turkish Air Force planes successfully Wednesday night hit 13 suspected Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the Zap region of northern Iraq not far from the Turkish border. The statement said that special care was taken not to hit civilian properties.

Turkish warplanes have carried out a number of bombing raids on PKK positions in northern Iraq since February when it launched incursion into northern Iraq which saw troops sent across the border to seek out PKK rebels and their camps.

According to the Turkish military, 240 PKK fighters, 24 Turkish soldiers and three Turkish state-employed village guards were killed in the week-long operation.

Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of more than 32,000 people since the early 1980s when the PKK began its fight for independence or autonomy for the mainly Kurdish-populated south-east of Turkey.

The PKK is listed by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist group.

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