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Turkish jets target high level PKK meeting in Iraq's Qandil

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)
In this file photo, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet approaches the tarmac of Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana. (Photo by Reuters)

Turkish fighter jets have targeted a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) meeting in Iraq's Qandil mountains, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“With the latest operations, we struck a very important meeting point of theirs. We haven’t received the results yet, but it is certain that they have been hit,” said Erdogan during a Kanal 7 television interview on Saturday.

He added that Turkish forces government have also been deployed in a region some 20 kilometers inside northern Iraq, not far from Qandil.

Last week, Turkish fighter jets destroyed 12 targets belonging to the outlawed PKK in northern Iraq, the Turkish military.

The mountains are located roughly 40 kilometers southeast of the Turkish border in Iraq’s Erbil Province. Ankara believes the rugged region is being used as the headquarters of the PKK, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

Turkey has conducted frequent airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq. It previously carried out cross-border operations in the region in the 1990s and 2000s. A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants in 2015 in the wake of a large-scale Turkish campaign against the group.

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The Turkish government has been opening military fronts against Kurdish groups in Syria as well. Earlier this year, it launched the ongoing Olive Branch offensive against the purported positions of the US-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia in Syria’s western enclave of Afrin.

Ankara considers the YPG a terror group and the Syrian branch of the PKK. The Turkish operation has been launched without permission from the Syrian government.

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