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Turkish warplanes renew attacks on Iraqi border areas


09:30, August 19, 2011

BAGHDAD, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkish fighter jets renewed on Thursday air strikes targeting border areas inside Iraq following deadly ambush by the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish official website reported.

"Five Turkish warplanes on Thursday noon bombarded the border areas of Lolan, Snin, Ligan and Gali Kharkurk near the town of Sidkan in Arbil province and caused material damages," said the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a major Kurdish party headed by Iraq President Jalal Talabani.

"The Turkish fighter jets flew at extremely low altitude and carried out heavy bombings on the border areas sparking panic among the residents who were forced to leave their homes and properties," the website quoted an anonymous Kurdish source as saying.

Thursday's raids are part of the military operation started Wednesday night against the PKK rebels holed up in northern Iraq.

On early Thursday, Turkey's General Staff said in a statement that its Air Forces' planes conducted a successful offense on 60 targets of the PKK in northern Iraq Wednesday night.

The targets included those in the Qandil Mountain, Kharkurk, Avashin-Bashyan, Zap and Metina, said the General Staff, adding that "prior to the air offense, 168 targets in the Zap, Avashin- Bashyan and Kharkurk regions were shelled by heavy artillery."

The latest Turkish offensive came after the deadly attack claimed by the PKK early Wednesday morning which killed seven Turkish soldiers and one security guard in Turkey's southeastern area of Hakkari.

The PKK has recently intensified attacks on Turkish troops, while Turkish officials have vowed to retaliate with absolute determination.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK took up arms in 1984 to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the PKK over the past over two decades.


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