Turkish fighter jets have been in action again over northern Iraq. F16’s are believed to have attacked three Kurdish villages in the Qandil mountains, where Kurdish PKK rebels are thought to be holed-up. There were no reports of any casualties. The Kurdish authorities said most of the residents had already fled.
Turkey is claiming successes in its own “War on Terror”. It says it hit a PKK rebel command centre on Sunday, and that it has killed hundreds of rebels in the past 10 days. The PKK admits to losing just five.
While the international community remains concerned by the tens of thousands of Turkish troops stationed along the border, a Turkish ground invasion is considered unlikely in the winter.
In his speech to parliament today, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not refer to the latest attacks directly, but he did reiterate Turkey’s right to go after rebels inside Iraq.
He claims he spoke to US President George Bush on the telephone on Monday, and that he was supportive.
But Iraq’s President Jalal Talibani has condemned the attacks. He’s moved to strengthen political links with the President of the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.
Kurdish rebels have been fighting for an autonomous homeland in southern Turkey and northern Iraq since 1984.