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Turkish jets hit 50 targets in northern Iraq

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 5/21/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Turkish fighters have launched an aerial attack against outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, targets in northern Iraq, NTV reported late Thursday.

Twenty Turkish Air Force planes struck 50 targets successfully in the Hukurk-Zap region of northern Iraq, known as one of the main bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the news website NTVMSNBC reported Friday.

The daylong operation utilized F-16 and F-4 2020 fighter planes, according to data from unmanned Heron aerial probes that was shared instantly with the United States.

The operation reportedly started at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and ended in the evening, after which the planes safely returned to their bases. The last operation on a similar scale against targets in northern Iraq was in 2008. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, as well as the United States, the European Union and various countries worldwide.

“The democratic initiative does not mean we have stopped fighting against terror,” Justice and Development Party, or AKP, deputy leader Ömer Çelik told NTV. “If there is a terror threat, Turkey will fight against it.”

“In all the diplomatic meetings, Turkey supports the establishment of a government that represents the entire country and is based on wide agreement. No one can hold Turkey back in its fight against terrorism,” Çelik said. “If Iraq and [Regional Kurdish Administration head Massoud] Barzani are disturbed by this, they should do what they have to do in the region. Our expectation from the new government and from Barzani’s side is for them to meet Turkey’s needs in terms of fighting against terrorism.”

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