Turkish air raids aimed at Kurds in Iraq

Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM
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ZAP, Iraq, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Turkish fighter jets struck Kurdish shelters in northern Iraq in an ongoing effort to counter terrorism, the Turkish military said Sunday.

Turkish security forces said the jets "successfully" hit a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) cave and shelter in the Zap and Hakurk areas of Iraq, Today's Zaman reported Sunday. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Turkey has been conducting air raids since August against the Kurdish group, which has been labeled terrorist by the United Nations and United States. An increase in PKK attacks on Turkish troops and civilians and the breakdown of a cease-fire led to the August escalation.

The last such Turkish airstrike was Dec. 29, when warplanes mistakenly killed 35 civilian smugglers in northern Iraq, believing them to be PKK terrorists, the newspaper said. The incident, which pro-Kurdish party the Peace and Democracy Party, called a "crime against humanity," sparked fighting between protesters and police in Diyarbakir.

The Kurdish fight for autonomy in Turkey has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984, Today's Zaman said.

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