Turkish warplanes destroy 18 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq

Turkish F-16 jet fighter

Baghdad ( – The Turkish army announced on Sunday that its warplanes destroyed 18 targets of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Alghad Press, the Turkish military said the air raids started on Saturday and lasted until Sunday, targeting the Hakurk, Zap, Metina and Avasin regions in northern Iraq.

“The operation was mainly launched to target a group of PKK militants, who were planning to launch attacks against Turkish military bases on the border between Iraq and Turkey,” the statement added.

Turkish air forces regularly carry out cross-border air strikes against PKK targets in Iraq. Ankara designates PKK as a terrorist organization, so did the U.S. and the EU.

PKK has led an armed campaign against Turkey for over three decades, during which more than 40,000 people were killed. PKK and Turkish military encounters resumed in July 2015 for the first time since the militia announced a pullout from Turkish territory in 2013.

The battles resumed after PKK accused Ankara of failure of protecting Kurds following an Islamic State attack that killed 32 Kurds at a town near the borders with Syria.

Turkey’s military interventions in Iraq and Syria has partially been driven by anxiousness to curb the influence of Kurdish militias thought to have links with the PKK.

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