Turkish warplanes again bombed PKK strongholds in northern Iraq on April 29 and 30 Anakara said. The new strikes targeted positions in the Zap and Avashin-Basyan region of Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous zone, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a statement on its Web site. “The targets … have been hit effectively and with full accuracy,” the statement said. There was no estimate of casualties.
The new raids came a day after a powerful bomb blast, blamed on the PKK, killed nine soldiers in Turkey’s Diyarbakır province. Presumed PKK guerillas also shot dead a soldier near the town of Şemdinli, close to the border with Iraq. On April 29, two more soldiers were injured while trying to defuse a bomb in Eğriyamaç village, Tunceli province. The bomb was detonated by remote control.
Turkish warplanes have been hitting the PKK in northern Iraq for months under a parliamentary authorization first obtained in October 2007 and extended for another year in October 2008. Ankara says about 2,000 PKK members are taking refuge in northern Iraq. In November, Iraq, Turkey and the United States formed a joint committee to track and crack down on the PKK. (Hurriyet Daily News, April 30)