Turkey bombs Kurdish rebel targets | News | DW | 14.10.2014
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Turkey bombs Kurdish rebel targets

Turkey has launched airstrikes on Kurdish rebel targets on the Iraqi border. The Kurdistan Workers' Party said the attacks were in breach of a ceasefire agreement.

Security sources said on Tuesday Turkish fighter jets had bombed Kurdish rebel targets in the southeast of the country.

The airstrikes were the first against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets since a March 2013 ceasefire.

The AFP news agency reported fighter jets struck positions of the outlawed PKK late Monday in the village of Daglica, near the border with Iraq.

Turkish media also said the military used F-16 and F-4 jets to launch airstrikes after alleged PKK militants attacked a police station in Daglica.

In a separate incident, also on Monday, Turkish military helicopters struck suspected PKK targets around the village of Geyiksuyu in eastern Turkey following raids by the rebels.

The military did not confirm the airstrikes, but said in a statement that "terrorists" had launched attacks against security forces in two locations in the south east, including in Hakkari province.

"The occupying Turkish army carried out air strikes against our forces for the first time yesterday (Monday) in almost two years," the armed wing of the PKK said on its website.

No concessions in push for peace

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara, "the armed forces have taken necessary measures" following PKK attacks at military posts in the Daglica region.

"We cannot tolerate or make concessions" in the face of assaults by the militant group, Davutoglu said.

However, in an earlier speech to lawmakers on Tuesday, he said the government was still committed to making peace with the Kurds.

"The peace process is not linked to Kobani. It's not linked to any development that takes place outside our borders," he said.

PKK Kämpfer Rebellen Archiv

Kurdistan Workers' Party rebels gather at the party headquarters in northern Iraq, April 2013.

The air strikes came a day before the October 15 deadline set by PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, for a roadmap to salvage the fragile peace process.

Ocalan is serving a life sentence in an island prison on the sea of Marmara.

Internal conflict

In recent weeks, there was increasing tension between Turkey and the PKK over Ankara's refusal to allow Turkish Kurds to leave the country to fight against "Islamic State" (IS) militants targeting the key Syrian border town of Kobani.

Turkey, a NATO member, had tightened security on its border with Syria after violent clashes in Kobani sparked the exodus of 200,000 refugees.

Around 30 people were killed and 360 wounded in early October when Kurds took to the streets in Turkish cities in protest of the government's lack of military support for Kurds defending Kobani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the unrest on the "dark forces" seeking to sabotage the peace process with the PKK, to end 30 years of violence that had claimed at least 40,000 lives.

lw/jr (dpa, AFP, AP)

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