Turkey launches air strikes on PKK camps
ISTANBUL – ReutersThe Turkish military said yesterday it carried out air strikes on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, a day after the PKK called on its militants to halt activities in Turkey unless facing an attack.
PKK shelters and gun positions were destroyed yesterday during air strikes in the Metina and Zap areas of northern Iraq, while 14 PKK militants were killed in strikes in the Lice area of southeast Turkey on Oct. 10, the military statement said.
Security sources said some 30-35 PKK militants were killed in northern Iraqi raids Oct. 11.
The PKK told its militants on Oct. 11 to halt militant activities unless they face attack, in response to calls for them to avoid acts which could prevent a “fair and just election” being held on Nov. 1. Fırat news agency reported that the heads of the outlawed KCK, the PKK’s umbrella group, said the decision was taken in response to calls from inside and outside Turkey. They reportedly said members would avoid acts that could prevent a “fair and just election” being held on Nov. 1.
Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan had already dismissed the declaration as a “tactic” ahead of the election, reiterating government demands that the militants lay down arms and leave Turkey.
Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, the PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. The state launched peace talks with its jailed leader in 2012.