Turkish Warplanes Attack Kurdish Militant Targets in Iraq

ANKARA (Reuters) -

Turkish warplanes hit targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq on Sunday, military sources said, as weekend operations against the insurgents also took place in southeast Turkey.

The F-16 and F-4 2020 aircraft destroyed bunkers, ammunition depots and gun installations in four northern Iraqi regions, including Qandil, where the PKK has camps, the sources said.

The airstrikes were launched early on Sunday and the aircraft returned safely to their bases, the sources said.

Turkey has been regularly attacking PKK targets in mountainous northern Iraq since the collapse of a ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state in July last year.

It has also been clashing with militants in sweeps across the largely Kurdish southeast of Turkey, which has seen some of the worst fighting since the height of the insurgency in the 1990s.

On Saturday, security forces killed a total of 12 militants in the southeastern provinces of Mardin and Sirnak and the eastern province on Tunceli, the military said in a statement.

Explosives were destroyed in those operations and 11 militants were arrested in Hakkari province, the military said.

More than 40,000 people have died since the autonomy-seeking PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.