Turkey targets PKK in northern Iraq

Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Turkish military said it deployed eight F-16 fighter jets over the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to strike at the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Sources confirmed to Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman that a 2-hour mission began Tuesday from Diyarbakir. The operation targeted the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK.

"No casualties were reported," the report stated. "The jets safely returned to their bases after completing their mission successfully."

Turkey recently reached out to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to find a solution to a crisis brewing since the 1980s. The peace process comes after the killing of three high-ranking members of the separatist movement in early January in Paris.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is no justification for terrorism in Turkey but the government was committed to peace initiatives with the PKK. He's said the Parisian slaying may have been an inside job staged by hard-liners trying to thwart reconciliation efforts.

Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said last weekend that the quicker Ankara can find a solution to the crisis the better.

"The shorter the process, the less likely it will be marred by sabotage," he was quoted as saying.

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