Turkish fighter jets renew attacks on PKK positions in northern Iraq

Turkish F-16 fighter jets hit terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq on Friday for the eighth time since the first attacks on July 24 in Ankara’s push against the PKK and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In the operation, named after gendarme, Hamza Yildirim, who was recently killed by the PKK, 30 F-16 jets were scrambled from an air base in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır and hit targets in Iraq, news reports said.

Turkey began bombing PKK camps in northern Iraq on July 24 in what government officials have said was a response to a series of killings of police officers and soldiers blamed on the Kurdish terrorist group. On Tuesday, fighter jets also bombed PKK targets in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak, bordering Iraq, after an attack on a group of gendarmes. Meanwhile, media outlets have reported that 200 terrorists in Iraq have been killed as a result of the air strikes. Murat Karayılan, one of the leaders of the PKK, narrowly avoided being killed.

The PKK has said the air strikes, launched virtually in parallel with strikes against radical terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in Syria, rendered the peace process between the terrorist group and the Turkish government meaningless. However, it has stopped short of formally pulling out.