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Turkish warplanes bombard PKK positions in SW Turkey

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows an F-16 fighter jet operated by the Turkish Air Force.

Turkish warplanes have bombarded the positions of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the southwestern part of the country as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledges to press on with a campaign against the group.

According to Turkey's military, the Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday bombarded the positions of the PKK in southeastern Sirnak Province.

“Two F-16 jets targeted two Dochka [anti-aircraft gun] positions belonging to the separatist terror organization” in the province, said Turkey’s General Staff in a statement on its official website, in reference to the PKK.

The Turkish military said in a separate statement that a soldier was killed in a PKK attack on Turkey's Akdizin military base in the province.

Turkish fighter jets also conducted air raids against as many as 17 positions of the PKK in the country’s southeastern province of Hakkari.

There has been no report on the casualties of Turkey's latest airstrikes on the PKK militants. Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, however, said on Sunday that "so far 390 terrorists have been rendered incapable of causing harm and another 400 have been injured, with 150 suffering serious injuries” in Turkey’s airstrikes in northern Iraq over the past two weeks.

Turkey has been recently launching airstrikes against the positions of PKK in Iraq after a deadly bomb attack attributed to Daesh militants left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, across the border from the northern Syrian town of Kobani.

Erdogan said in a televised speech in the capital, Ankara, on Tuesday that Turkey will keep on its military campaign against the PKK.

 “We will continue our fight until weapons are laid down... and not one single terrorist remains within our borders,” Erdogan vowed.

The PKK had been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

The Turkish president also blamed Kurdish political authorities for not appreciating Turkey's measures to end the conflict with the group.

“Unfortunately, they did not understand what has been done” for them, he said, stressing, “Therefore the solution process is now in the fridge.”

The Turkish president went on to claim that Ankara has carried out “effective operations” against the Daesh terrorist group in Syria.

On August 6, Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), accused the government of Erdogan of using the so-called anti-Daesh fight as a cover to pursue its main goal of targeting the PKK and undermining the HDP.

A shaky ceasefire that had stood since 2013 was declared as null by the PKK following the Turkish airstrikes against the group.


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