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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkey Bombs Kurdish Separatists

by VOA News October 14, 2014

Media in Turkey reported government warplanes had bombed Kurdish nationalist rebels in the southeast of the country in the first significant air operation against the group since peace talks began two years ago.

The Hurriyet newspaper said the jets hit Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets in Hakkari province on Sunday.

There was no immediate comment from the military on the report that it had bombed Kurdish positions, once a regular occurrence in southeast Turkey but something that had not taken place for two years.

The bombings are said to be a response to shootings by the PKK at a military outpost in the area. They come amid increased internal tension over Turkey's inaction against the Islamic State group.

At least 35 people were killed in riots last week when members of Turkey's 15 million-strong Kurdish minority rose up in anger at the government for refusing to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani from an assault by Islamic State militants.

The PKK issued a call to arms in September for Kurds to defend the largely Kurdish town, which is also known as Ayn al-Arab.

The renewed conflict between Turkey and the PKK jeopardizes a fragile peace process launched by Ankara and rebel leadership in 2012 after three decades of insurgency killed more than 40,000 people.

The jailed leader of Turkey's banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has threatened to call off talks to end a decades-old insurgency in Turkey if no progress is made by Wednesday.

On Monday, Turkey denied U.S. assertions that it had agreed to let American planes take off from its air bases in connection with strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.

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