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Turkish warplanes launch new air raids on Iraqi Kurdistan

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)
The file photo shows a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets have conducted new airstrikes on Duhok Province in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, defying Baghdad’s numerous protests at such violations of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

Citing witnesses, Iraq’s Shafaq News reported heavy bombing on villages near Deshish Mountain on Monday night, causing panic among the residents.

Mount Kabirki was also targeted by the Turkish aircraft, the report said, adding that no causalities were recorded in the air raids.

On March 30, Turkish warplanes targeted areas held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sidekan, a subdistrict of Soran in Erbil Province. After the aerial attack, the jets flew over the area for more than an hour.

The Turkish air force has been carrying out operations against the PKK in the country’s troubled southeastern border region as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

However, officials in the Iraqi Kurdistan say some of the Turkish strikes target civilians.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey and runs bases in Iraq and Syria as well.

Baghdad views Turkey’s airstrikes on its Kurdistan region as a violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty and has repeatedly called on Ankara to stop its unlawful raids.

The Turkish strikes have prompted Baghdad to summon Ankara’s ambassador several times. Iraq has also warned that it has the means of confronting Ankara’s aggression.

Turkey, however, accuses Iraq of tolerating the PKK presence on its soil and has pledged to sustain its attacks.


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