Dozen PKK militants killed as Turkish jets hit SE Turkey, N Iraq

At least a dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed after Turkish military aircraft carried out a series of airstrikes in the rural areas of the country’s southeastern province of Hakkari and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Turkish jets launched eight aerial raids against PKK targets near the southeastern town of Semdinli, located about 14 kilometers (eight miles) north of the border with Iraq, between 6:47 a.m. (0347 GMT) local time and 7:31 a.m. (0431 GMT) on Friday.

Several PKK hideouts were destroyed in the raids. The airstrikes came after Kurdish militants attacked a military outpost in Semdinli with mortar shells, anti-aircraft and machine guns before dawn.

The Turkish army has also launched an operation in the area to hunt down PKK militants involved in the attack on the army base.

Separately, Turkish warplanes took off from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, situated 676 kilometers (420 miles) east of the capital Ankara, and bombarded seven PKK positions in the Avasin-Basyan region of northern Iraq.

This file photo shows an F-16 fighter jet operated by the Turkish Air Force.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015, and attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past few months. The Turkish military has also been conducting offensives against PKK positions in northern Iraq and Syria.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

After the bombing, the PKK militants, who accuse Ankara of supporting Daesh, engaged in a series of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.

By Press TV