Turkish jets hit PKK camps in northern Iraq amid fresh attacks on security forces
Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet. Reuters PhotoTurkish fighter jets have hit outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq in the latest in a series of aerial strikes against the outlawed organization amid an upsurge in violence against Turkish security personnel in Turkey’s east and southeast.
The Turkish Air Force hit targets in the Sinat-Haftanin area in Iraq’s north, destroying PKK shelters, ammunition depots and warehouses, security sources said, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.
The targets hit by Turkish F-16 and F-4 2020 fighter jets were determined over intelligence and images gathered by drones and other intelligence sources.
The fighter jets hit four targets simultaneously and fire and explosions erupting from a strike on an ammunition warehouse lasted for 55 minutes, with smoke rising into the air.
The strikes posed a critical move to destroy one of the most significant logistics facilities of the outlawed organization.
Meanwhile, 24 Turkish soldiers were injured in two separate attacks by PKK militants in the eastern province of Van, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Thirteen soldiers passing by in a guarded military vehicle were injured and a four-meter wide hole was created in the first incident in the Çamlık area of Van’s Başkale district when PKK militants detonated a bomb they had planted under a road connecting Başkale to the southeastern province of Hakkari at around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. The road was reported to be closed to vehicular traffic.
In the second attack in the Bebeşin area, about 15 kilometers away from Çamlık, 11 soldiers in a military convoy were injured after PKK militants detonated a roadside bomb at 1:47 a.m. on Sept. 22.
The injured soldiers were taken to the Başkale Public Hospital and then to a medical center at Yüzüncü Yıl University.
“A total of 24 soldiers were killed in two separate detonations of improvised explosive devices planted under a road in Van’s Başkale district by militants,” the Turkish General Staff said in a written statement on Sept. 22.
Turkey began a major counterterrorism campaign against the PKK in late July, in an endeavor to flush the organization’s militants out of their strongholds in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
Violent attacks against military personnel and police officers have been on the rise since late July, a markedly symbolic date when a suicide bombing attack in the southeastern town of Suruç left dozens dead and more than 100 others injured.