Turkey launches airstrikes against Kurdish rebels

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Map of Kurdish-inhabited area, circa 1992

According to reports, Turkey has today launched airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases near the border to Iraq. F-16 fighter jets and helicopter gunships are said to have bombed targets on both sides of the border.

Turkish officials said that a major incursion was not implemented at this time to give diplomacy a final chance. An Iraqi delegation, headed by defense minister Qadir Obeidi (aka Abdel Qader Jassim), is scheduled to visit Turkey on Thursday.

"We do not accept in any way... the use of Iraqi territories, including the territories of the Kurdistan region, as a base to threaten the security of neighbouring countries," Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said in a statement condemning the PKK.

"We are concerned about the continuing skirmishes that are happening up there, and terrorist attacks that are being launched by the PKK against the Turks," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.