Turkish jets strike PKK sanctuary in N. Iraq
July 30, 2008, Wednesday/ 21:01:00
Turkey's military said on Tuesday its fighter jets had hit terrorist targets in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq.The army said its warplanes destroyed a cave used by Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leaders on Tuesday and that some 30-40 terrorists were killed in the attack. Turkish warplanes also struck the nearby Zap region. Associated Press reported that Ahmed Deniz, terrorist spokesman in northern Iraq, said by telephone the Turkish bombing lasted more than an hour but he claimed it did not cause any casualties or serious damage. Firat News, a pro-Kurdish news agency, said the bombing was immediately followed by shelling against the Kurdish militants by neighboring Iranian forces. Turkey's military has said Turkey and Iran at times coordinate strikes against Kurdish terrorists who use bases in northern Iraq as a springboard for attacks in Turkey and Iran. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) uses north Iraq as a base from which to make attacks on Turkish territory. Turkey blames the PKK for the deaths of 40,000 people in the past 25 years. The PKK is regarded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. Turkish warplanes have been bombing PKK positions in the mountains of northern Iraq since December 16. Ankara estimates that more than 2,000 militants have taken refuge in northern Iraq, using camps there as a jumping board for attacks on Turkish targets across the border. The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorization for cross-border military action against the PKK, which expires in October.