Turkey Fighter Jets Pound PKK Positions

Turkey Fighter Jets Pound PKK Positions
Sun Sep 4, 2016 18:39:24

Turkish warplanes have conducted fresh airstrikes against the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in the east and south.

Turkish security sources told the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday that fighter jets bombarded four PKK targets in the Cukurca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari between 8:42 p.m. and 9:07 p.m. local time (1742-1807 GMT) Saturday evening.

The warplanes also pounded six other PKK positions in Mount Tendurek region between the eastern provinces of Agri and Van from 12:08 a.m. to 12:27 a.m. local time Sunday (2108-2127 GMT overnight Saturday), the sources added.

According to the sources, a senior PKK figure called Hakan Yeni, code-named “Mahir,” was killed in the airstrikes. Mahir was reportedly responsible for Caldiran-Tendurek region. Along with him, a number of other militants were also killed, the sources added, without specifying the number of casualties.

The fresh wave of aerial aggression against PKK militants comes after two bloody days of clashes between the two sides, in which at least 22 Turkish soldiers and a village guardsman were killed in the restive southeast.

According to a statement released by the Turkish military on Saturday, at least 100 PKK militants were also “neutralized” during the clashes. The casualty toll from Saturday’s clashes was one of the highest in a single day of the conflict in recent years.

The new anti-PKK operation, which started four days ago, still goes on.

The Turkish military has been carrying out ground operations as well as aerial assaults against PKK positions in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over the past year. The government claims the military operation in Kurdish-dominated southeast has killed over 7,000 militants. Rights groups and pro-Kurdish political parties say most of those killed have been civilians.

The campaign began following the July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc, which claimed more than 30 civilian lives. Turkish officials held the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group responsible for the act of terror.

PKK militants, who accuse Ankara of supporting Daesh, launched a string of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish security forces after the bomb attack, in turn prompting the Turkish military operations.

The PKK launched its insurgency more than three decades ago, and according to some reports, over 40,000 people, most of them Kurds, have lost their lives ever since.

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