Turkish jets bomb northern Iraq

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The Turkish military says its warplanes have carried out airstrikes against militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), destroying their compounds in northern Iraq.

The military said six fighter jets, accompanied by drones, destroyed militant compounds, depots and shelters inside Iraq.

Turkey’s airstrikes inside the Iraqi territory have repeatedly drawn fire from Baghdad, which has denounced Ankara for violating the country’s sovereignty.

The Iraqi government is also urging Turkey to pull out troops from a base in the Arab country’s north, into which they were deployed last month.

Turkish forces have killed almost 600 PKK militants since mid-December, said the military.

The airstrikes were followed by a devastating explosion in a multi-story police headquarters in Turkey’s Diyarbakir province on Wednesday, which Ankara blamed on the PKK.

The blast occurred when an explosive-laden car hit the headquarters in Cinar District and destroyed its entire façade.

The building was then attacked with “rocket launchers and long barreled weapons,” the Turkish daily, Sabah, reported. Reports said several people lost their lives.

Violence flared between the militant group and the Turkish army last July and shattered a fragile two-and-a-half-year ceasefire between the two sides.

The PKK launched its insurgency against Turkey in 1984. So far, more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

 

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