Turkey targets PKK bases in Iraq

Sources say two-day operation against Kurdish fighters is the biggest this year.

    The Turkish army steps up its operations
    in the spring as the snow melts [EPA]

    In a brief statement posted on its website, the military said all aircraft had returned to their bases safely after "successfully completing their duty".
     
    The Turkish military has carried out a series of air attacks on northern Iraq since the end of a land offensive into the neighbouring country in February.
     
    Operations against the PKK are expected to be stepped up as spring arrives and the snow melts, making it easier to move about in the mountainous region.
     
    Ground offensive
     
    Clashes between Turkish soldiers and PKK fighters also continued inside Turkey on Saturday in the Sirnak province, which borders Iraq.
     
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    Army sources said that a total of three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes in the region the previous day.

    At least 27 soldiers and 240 fighters were killed in February's incursion, according to the Turkish military.
     
    The operation prompted concern in Washington about further regional instability and was watched closely in Turkey's financial markets.
     
    Ankara blames the PKK for 40,000 deaths since 1984 when the group took up arms demanding self-rule for ethnic Kurds in southeast Turkey.
     
    The United States and the European Union, along with Turkey, consider it a terrorist organisation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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