Turkish warplanes and Iranian artillery bombarded Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq on Jan. 5, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) said. “Turkish planes and Iranian artillery bombarded Aquwan and the Iranians bombarded Maradu. The bombardment lasted for about one hour starting from 7 PM,” said the spokesman, Ahmed Denis, said. He had no immediate word on any casualties.
The fresh bombardment of the remote mountains where the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey meet follows talks in Ankara on Dec. 24 between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki, in which the two governments agreed to step up cooperation against the PKK. Hours after Maliki’s visit to Ankara, three Turkish soldiers were killed and nine wounded when PKK guerillas attacked an army vehicle in the border town of Cizre. Turkish warplanes then bombed PKK positions in Khwakurk and Khnera, in Iraqi territory, on Dec. 28.
Denis criticized the Iraqi position, accusing Baghdad of compromising its own sovereignty. “How could they allow a neighboring country to bombard their own land and people?” he asked. (Middle East Online, Jan. 6)