Saturday, December 22, 2007

Turkey in fresh Iraq air strikes


Turkey has launched fresh air strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, the Turkish military says.

Fighter planes have been attacking positions held by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to the army's official website.

Turkish air strikes earlier this month were followed by an incursion involving several hundred Turkish soldiers across the border into Iraq.

Turkey says the PKK is using bases in Iraq to launch attacks on Turkey.

Operations continue

The bombing lasted for half an hour and was followed by shelling from inside the Turkish border, army officials said.

No casualties were reported by authorities in northern Iraq.

"The aerial bombardment didn't result in any people killed because the area is almost deserted because of fear of aerial and mortar attacks from the Turkish side," Reuters news agency quoted Jabbar Yawer, an Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga spokesman as saying.

Turkish military officials pledged to continue operations "no matter how the conditions are", the Associated Press news agency quoted the statement as saying.

Turkish officials said the PKK "suffered heavy losses in terms of its infrastructure and its human resources," during the military operation earlier this month.

Iraqi officials said the air strikes on 16 December targeted 10 villages and killed one woman, while the PKK reported seven deaths.

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