Date
16 January 2017
A Turkish Air Force transport plane takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana on Sunday. Turkey has launched attacks on Kurdish insurgent camps in Iraq. Photo: Reuters
A Turkish Air Force transport plane takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana on Sunday. Turkey has launched attacks on Kurdish insurgent camps in Iraq. Photo: Reuters

Turkish jets hit PKK targets in Iraq after soldiers killed

Turkey attacked Kurdish insurgent camps in Iraq in a campaign that could end its peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Reuters reported, citing security forces.

Ankara, which called for a special NATO meeting to discuss its security concerns, said two of its soldiers were killed and four wounded in the latest attack by PKK militants, the news agency said.

Long a reluctant member of the US-led coalition against Islamic State, Turkey made a dramatic turnaround last week by granting the alliance access to its air bases and launching air raids against both the jihadist movement and the PKK.

But the relapse into serious conflict between Turkey and the PKK has raised doubts about the future of NATO member Turkey’s peace process with Kurdish foes that started in 2012, after 28 years of bloodshed, but has recently stalled.

Four Turkish F-16 fighter jets deployed from the Diyarbakir air base in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast hit PKK targets in Hakurk in northern Iraq, the sources told Reuters.

The strike came after a car bomb and roadside explosives hit a passing military vehicle on a highway near Diyarbakir overnight on Sunday, the army said.

Kurdish militants then opened fire on the vehicle with rifle fire, it said. Four other soldiers were wounded.

At least six people had been detained in connection with the attack, Dogan news agency reported.

The PKK, which Ankara and Washington deem a terrorist group, has also targeted police officers in the southeast and elsewhere, accusing the Islamist-rooted central government of covertly helping Islamic State to the detriment of Syrian Kurds.

The outlawed PKK has waged an insurgency against Ankara for Kurdish autonomy since 1984.

Opposition politicians and critics accuse President Tayyip Erdogan of taking up the campaign against Islamic State as political cover to clamp down on Kurds, the report said.

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