Turkey bombs Iraq —yet again!

Turkish warplanes launched bombing raids on PKK Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq’s Qandil Mountains late May 1. “There has been heavy bombing and many Turkish planes were involved. So far, we have no word of any casualties,” PKK spokesman Ahmed Danees told Reuters by telephone. Military sources told Reuters that at least 30 planes were involved in the raids, which they said targeted senior PKK members. (Hurriyet, Reuters, May 2)

The air-strikes come the same day a Turkish delegation headed by the Turkish Prime Ministry’s chief adviser, Ahmet Davutoglu, met in Baghdad with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the Kurdistan Regional Government PM Nechirvan Barzani to discuss the crisis in northern Iraq. The meeting constituted the first formal contact between the Turkish government and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government. Talabani, himself a Kurd, visited Turkey in early March in an effort to reduce tension. (New Anatolian, Hurriyet, May 2)

See our last posts on Iraq, Turkey and the struggle in Kurdistan.

  1. Turkish-Iranian cooperation against PKK?
    Cute. Washington’s NATO ally Turkey cooperating with Axis-of-Evil member Iran. From AFP, May 2:

    ANKARA — The Turkish army said Friday that “many” Kurdish rebels were killed in a bombing raid in northern Iraq, but gave no precise figures.

    “Many terrorists, whose presence at the targeted sites had been confirmed by intelligence, have been rendered ineffective” in the raid, the general staff said in a statement on its Internet site.

    Bombardments, which began at 11:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Thursday, targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) hideouts in the Qandil mountains along the Iraq-Iran border and destroyed 43 targets, including a communication centre.

    “The raid…has delivered a major blow to the PKK terrorist organization,” the statement said, describing the strikes as “comprehensive and efficient.”

    The army did not say how many planes took part in the bombing, but Turkey’s NTV news channel put the figure at 50 fighter jets.

    The pro-PKK Firat news agency reported that the bombing lasted three hours.

    Speaking in northern Iraq, PKK spokesman Ahmed Danis said the rebels had suffered no losses but expressed concern that the Turks and the Iranians were increasing their cooperation against the rebels.

    “There is co-ordination between Iranian and Turkish militaries to attack PKK and Pejak,” Danis said, referring to an Iranian offshoot of the Kurdish rebel group.