Turkish military says hit 12 PKK targets in N.Iraq

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s military said on Sunday its fighter jets hit 12 Kurdish separatist targets in northern Iraq’s Qandil region in an operation that started at midnight.

The army general staff said in a statement on its website that all the planes had returned safely to their bases and that it was working to confirm “terrorist casualties.”

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) uses north Iraq as a base from which to make attacks on Turkish territory. Turkey blames the PKK, which is fighting for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey, for the deaths of 40,000 people in the past 25 years.

“The operations carried out as part of the anti-terror fight will continue with determination both at home and abroad in accordance with military necessities,” the army statement said.

The PKK is regarded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

A Kurdish Peshmerga source, declining to be named, and Azad Wassu, local mayor of Jarawa town, confirmed a Turkish airstrike early on Sunday.

It lasted for an hour-and-half, targeting several sites in Qandil mountains, they said, adding that no civilian casualties were suffered during the operation as the civilians had left the area. There were no reports of hospitals receiving any casualties and no information on PKK casualties, they said.

Turkish aircraft also attacked Kurdish separatist targets in Iraq on Wednesday, striking 13 PKK targets. Iraqi officials said the air raid lasted 45 minutes but caused no casualties.

Three people traveling in a truck were killed in a mine blast on Sunday in Hakkari province on Iraqi border, the state Anatolian news agency said.

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