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Thread: Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

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    Default Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

    Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

    By Ivan Watson, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Yesim Comert, CNN
    August 19, 2011 1:02 p.m. EDT

    Turkish soldiers carry Thursday the coffins of soldiers who were killed in an attack by members of the Kurdistan Workers Party.


    • Turkish military said it pounded more than 100 targets in northern Iraq
    • Tensions have been escalating between the Turkish government and the Kurdish minority
    • Two soldiers were killed in clashes in Siirt province, official says


    Istanbul (CNN) -- Turkish warplanes carried out a second night of airstrikes against suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, as deadly clashes erupted within Turkey between security forces and guerrilla fighters.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq expressed concern Friday about the Turkish cross border raids.
    In an interview with CNN, Kawa Mahmoud called on Turkey to resolve its long-simmering conflict with Kurdish separatist through diplomacy, not violence.

    "We always emphasize that shelling (the) Iraqi border is inconsistent with international conventions and good neighborly relations, and we consider it as intervention and disregard for the sovereignty of the Kurdish and Iraqi territory," Mahmoud said, adding "the bombings directly affect the infrastructure of the region of (Iraqi) Kurdistan."

    In a news release Friday, the Turkish military said warplanes and artillery pounded more than 100 targets in rugged mountains of northern Iraq where fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have long been active.
    The Turkish armed forces periodically target what Ankara calls PKK "safe havens" and "attack bases" in northern Iraq.

    For more than a decade, these remote border regions have been beyond the authority of the Iraqi central government as well as of the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration that governs the northern part of the country.

    In the meantime, Turkish officials told CNN two more Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes in a remote region of south-eastern Siirt province Thursday night.

    An official from the Siirt governor's office, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said suspected rebel fighters carried out two night-time attacks on local gendarme stations and government buildings using "rocket launchers and long-range weapons."

    The official said two Turkish soldiers were killed and four wounded in the fighting. He said three rebels including a female fighter were also killed in the clashes.

    Dozens of Turkish soldiers have been killed over the last month, in a clear escalation of the conflict that has raged intermittently between Kurdish separatists and the Turkish state since 1984.

    More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict, many of them ethnic Kurds.

    The Kurds are Turkey's largest ethnic minority.

    For decades, Ankara imposed oppressive policies, which banned Kurdish names and language and sometimes referred to the community as "mountain Turks."

    The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attempted to improve relations with Turkey's Kurds in recent years by launching a Kurdish channel on state television and acknowledging "mistakes were made" in the way Ankara treated the minorities.

    But tensions have escalated between Erdogan's government and the main Kurdish nationalist political party in recent months.

    After winning a larger number of seats in June parliamentary elections, the main Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) boycotted the swearing-in ceremony for new lawmakers.

    Kurdish lawmakers are protesting a decision by Turkey's electoral board, which disqualified a prominent Kurdish candidate from participating in the June election.

    Politician Hatip Dicle was barred from running due to a 20-month prison sentence he received for "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," a Turkish reference to the PKK.

    Meanwhile, riots involving Kurdish youths have periodically erupted in recent months in Istanbul and other Turkish cities.
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    Default Re: Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

    Go Kurds. There should be a Kurdish homeland and these Turks wouldn't get killed. Free Kurdistan.
    Ab Urbe Condita 2761

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    Default Re: Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

    Turkish strikes kill three rebels in northern Iraq

    Three Kurdish separatists were killed in Turkey's bombing campaign on their bases in northern Iraq, a rebel spokesperson said on Monday, threatening "war" in case of more strikes.

    "Three of our members were martyred in the Bahdinan region in the first days of the bombing," last Wednesday, said Ahmed Denis, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) spokesperson, referring to an area of Dohuk province in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

    "If Turkey continues these attacks ... then we will announce our decision to enter into war with Turkey," he said.

    Denis had said earlier on Monday that Turkish aircraft bombed the Kortek area in Sulaimaniyah province, Qandil in Arbil province, and Jabal Mattine in Dohuk, from about midday to 3:00 p.m.

    He also said Turkish forces could be making preparations to enter Iraq and that the PKK was also preparing for possible ground fighting.

    The Monday bombing comes a day after an Iraqi family of seven were killed in a Turkish strike on a vehicle in Kortek, according to Jabbar Yawar, a top Iraqi Kurdish official.

    The Turkish military launched a first wave of bomb attacks on August 17 against PKK targets in Iraq after a rebel attack against a military unit in Cukurca, southeast Turkey, that killed nine security personnel.

    The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

    -AFP/NOW Lebanon

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    Default Re: Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq

    Turkey launches massive operation in Iraq
    (AP) – 4 hours ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's military says about 10,000 soldiers are taking part in its offensive against Kurdish rebels, making it the nation's largest attack on the insurgents in more than three years.
    The military launched the offensive on Wednesday after Kurdish rebels carried out raids near the Turkey-Iraq border that killed 24 Turkish soldiers.
    The military said 22 battalions, or about 10,000 soldiers, were taking part in the offensive, but it didn't say how many of them were in southern Turkey and how many in northern Iraq.
    But it was the largest such offensive since early 2008.
    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Thousands of high school students marched in the streets of the Turkish capital on Thursday to denounce the killing of 24 soldiers by Kurdish rebels, and the military pressed ahead with its air and ground offensive against the insurgents across the Iraqi border.
    Turkey began the offensive against the Kurdish rebels on Wednesday after they conducted their deadly attacks on military and police targets along the border.
    Turkish news reports, without citing sources, said more than 20 Kurdish rebels have been killed in the offensive. But Dostdar Hamo, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Workers' Party in northern Iraq, told The Associated Press by telephone Thursday that only five rebels have been killed and seven others wounded since the start of the Turkish campaign. The figures given by either side cannot be independently verified.
    About a dozen warplanes flew several bombing sorties out of two military bases in the country's southeast before sunrise Thursday, the state-run TRT television said. The television said one Turkish soldier was killed on Thursday by rebel fire as he rappelled from a helicopter. It was not clear whether the soldier was killed in Iraq.
    Wednesday's killing of the 24 soldiers and the wounding of 18 was the deadliest one-day attack by the rebels since the mid-1990s, and it has outraged many in Turkey and fueled nationalist sentiment. The U.S. and NATO also have condemned it.
    Thousands of high school students carrying Turkish flags marched throughout Ankara on Thursday and visited the mausoleum of the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in a show of solidarity.
    "Tooth for tooth, blood for blood, vengeance!" students chanted in support of the military as they marched through the affluent Tunali Hilmi district. At one point, the students stopped traffic to sing the national anthem as some shopkeepers joined them and passers-by stood still in respect.
    The youths also shouted: "Ankara wake up, honor your martyrs!"
    The flag-draped coffins of the slain soldiers were being flown to several cities across the country on Thursday for burial. TRT television, citing unnamed local sources, said the rebels heavily relied on mortar fire during Wednesday's attack, and that along with their use of rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles explained the high number of casualties.
    The government was expected to brief the lawmakers about the ongoing military incursion into Iraq in a closed-door session later Thursday.
    "Enough is enough, the government must allow all of us to fight them (the rebels)," said an angry taxi driver, Sedat Inci. Like many other taxi drivers, Inci had decorated his cab with red-and-white Turkish flags in support of the military's drive against the autonomy-seeking guerrillas.
    Several newspapers condemned the rebels in banner headlines against a black background.
    "24 martyrs, 74 million wounded," said the daily Posta, referring to Turkey's entire population.
    The Yeni Safak newspaper's banner headline read: "Endless Pain."
    In new violence on Thursday, suspected Kurdish rebels wounded three soldiers in a roadside bomb attack near the town of Altinova in southeastern Mus province, said Gov. Ali Cinar.
    President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to retaliate against the rebels and imposed further pressure on Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdish administration to try to prevent rebel attacks from Iraqi soil.
    The Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq are mostly stable and prosperous. But to Turkey, which has a large Kurdish minority, they also are an inspiration and a support base for the Kurdish rebels.
    Turkey's Kurdish rebel conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since the insurgents took up arms for autonomy in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast in 1984.
    Associated Press writer Yayha Barzanji in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, contributed.
    Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12

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