Alwaght- Turkey Air Force has launched airstrike on Monday against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.
State-run Anadolu news agency cited the Turkish General Staff as saying in a statement that 11 F-16 and F-4 jets bombed 18 PKK positions in [Iraq's] Gara and Qandil [mountains], where the group has its main headquarters.
Turkey has blacklisted PKK as a terrorist organization and has blamed the Kurdish separatist group for a number of recent terrorist attacks in the country, including Sunday’s car bomb at a transport hub in the Turkish capital, which killed at least 37 people and injured 71 more, according to Turkey's Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility; however, two Turkish security officials told Reuters the initial findings suggest that the bombing was carried out by PKK or an affiliated group.
The explosion occurred less than a month after a car bomb attack in central Ankara killed 29 people. Kurdish militants claimed responsibility for that attack.
Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past few months. The Turkish military, Without Iraqi government mandate, has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the group in northern Iraq.
Turkey’s aerial campaign inside the Iraqi territory has repeatedly drawn fire from Baghdad, which has denounced Ankara for violating the country’s sovereignty.
The Turkish military operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
After the bombing, the PKK, that accuses the Erdogan government of supporting ISIS terrorist group, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.