Turkish warplanes hammer targets in northern Iraq

Raid against PKK rebels targeted Zap area close to border between two countries.
Turkish warplanes hammer targets in northern Iraq
Sun 08 Jun 2008 01:54 PM

Turkish warplanes bombed separatist Kurdish rebels in neighbouring northern Iraq late Saturday, the Turkish army said in a statement.The raid against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) began at 10:30pm and targeted the Zap area, close to Turkey's border with Iraq, said the brief statement on the general staff's internet site. It gave no further details.

Aided by US intelligence, Turkey has carried out several air strikes against rebels in the mountainous enclave since mid-December under a one-year parliamentary authorisation for such action that expires in October.

In February, Turkish troops conducted a week-long offensive targeting a PKK camp in the Zap area. The operation left more than 200 rebels dead, according to the army.

Listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

Ankara charges that more than 2,000 Kurdish rebels have found a safe haven in northern Iraq, where they are able to obtain weapons and explosives for attacks in Turkey.

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