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Turkish warplanes bomb PKK bases in southeast: Report

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)
A Turkish fighter jet is seen in flight during a military parade, July 20, 2015. ©AP

Turkish warplanes have reportedly carried out fresh air raids on positions of the militants belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Sirnak.

Security sources said seven PKK bases were destroyed when army jets bombed Sirnak’s Cudi and Guclukonak rural areas at around 9:30 a.m. local time (0630 GMT) on Thursday, Turkey Anadolu news agency reported.

There has been no report on possible casualties.

The Turkish air force then began surveillance flights over the areas, with army troops conducting searches, according to military sources.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey since 1984.

Last July, the militant group declared an end to the peace process with Ankara after the Turkish army launched a military campaign against its positions in southeastern border areas as well as northern Iraq, where the PKK leadership is based.

Turkish forces shoot with machine gun in Sirnak on December 22, 2015 during an anti-PKK operation. ©AFP

Ankara has imposed curfew in the areas that have seen anti-PKK operations.

The army operations came in the wake of a July 2015 bombing that left 32 people dead in the mainly-Kurdish town of Suruc near the Syrian border. Ankara blamed the terror attack on the Daesh Takfiri terror group.

Angered by what they called Ankara’s failure to counter Daesh attacks, Kurdish groups then engaged in a series of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish police and security forces, in turn prompting the Turkish military offensive.

Over the past months, thousands of militants, members of security force and civilians have been killed in fighting across Turkey’s southeast.

According to the Anadolu report, the conflict has left nearly 600 security personnel and 5,000 PKK militants dead since last July.


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