14:52 GMT +307 December 2019
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    A Turkish F-16 prepares to taxi while another one takes off at 3rd Main Jet Air Base

    Turkish Warplanes Enter Iraqi Airspace, Resume Strikes on Kurdish Bases

    © AP Photo / Selcan Hacaoglu
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    Turkish jets reportedly intruded into Iraqi airspace without warning in a fresh tide of airstrikes against Kurdish PKK fighters’ bases, local news reported Wednesday.

    Several bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant organization were hit during air raids by Turkish air forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, local news outlet Rudaw reported on Wednesday.

    “Turkish F-16 warplanes are continually bombing PKK bases in the area of Barwari Balla and Kesta village in the town of Zakho,” a Rudaw reporter broadcast from the scene.

    No casualties were acknowledged at the time of the report late Wednesday.

    “Before they bombed their targets, [the warplanes] inspected the area a while ago,” the reporter said.

    An independent verification of the fresh reports is yet to follow.

    On Saturday, Turkish jets reportedly launched airstrikes against PKK facilities in northern Iraq.

    Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July when Turkey, after a two-year ceasefire, launched a military campaign against the PKK in northern Iraq and southern Turkey after the group claimed responsibility for the murders of two Turkish police officers.

    The PKK, based in Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan autonomous region, was founded in the late 1970s with the aim of self-determination for the Kurdish community. The group is considered to be a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and NATO.

    Kurds form the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, accounting for 20% of the population.

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    Tags:
    guerilla war, airstrike, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq
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