Turkish Warplanes Said to Bomb Northern Iraq for 2nd Day
By VOA News
23 December 2007
An Iraqi Kurdish official says Turkish warplanes have bombed northern Iraq for a second day, but caused no civilian casualties.
The spokesman for Iraqi Kurdish security forces (Jabar Yawar) says the Turkish aircraft hit a mountainous area north of the city of Irbil Sunday. He says no civilians were hurt because residents had already fled the area.
Turkey's military made no immediate comment. It did confirm that Turkish warplanes and artillery units struck Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Saturday. A pro-Kurdish news agency (Firat) says PKK rebels did not suffer any casualties in the attacks.
Saturday's cross-border operation was Turkey's third against Kurdistan Workers' Party rebels in a week. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker says no one in the region wants to see the operations continue in a way that threatens Iraq's stability.
The Turkish military said Saturday that its recent raids have killed hundreds of rebels, but that account could not be independently verified.
Turkish fighter jets carried out their first confirmed assault against PKK rebels last Sunday. Turkey followed the air strikes on Tuesday with a small-scale incursion by Turkish troops into northern Iraq.
Ankara accuses the PKK of staging deadly attacks in southeastern Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people have died in the conflict.
Some information provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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