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Turkey pounds PKK positions in 'anti-terror' operation

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By Euronews
Turkey pounds PKK positions in 'anti-terror' operation

Turkey calls it a “synchronised fight against terror” – targeting Islamic State and Kurdish militants.

But Kurdish Workers Party or PKK positions have been pounded most intensely since air strikes began last week.

Turkish jets have carried out their heaviest assaults on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq since then, in what Baghdad condemned as a “dangerous escalation and an assault on Iraqi sovereignty”.

Turkey launched near-simultaneous strikes against PKK camps in Iraq and ISIL fighters in Syria last Friday.

In the fight against ISIL, Ankara has now formally approved an understanding with Washington which includes opening air bases to the US-led coalition.

Turkey has joined the front-line in the battle against the jihadists after years of reluctance.

Engaging in conflicts on two fronts is a high-risk strategy for the NATO member, leaving it exposed to the threat of reprisals by jihadists and Kurdish militants. Germany warned on Wednesday about possible attacks on Istanbul’s underground rail network and bus stops.

NATO gave Turkey full political support on Tuesday

There were heated exchanges in Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday when Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denounced the the pro-Kurdish HDP party for failing to condemn Kurdish militant attacks.

“When the country’s future and democracy is in question, those who do not display a clear attitude don’t have any right to be informed about the anti-terror operation,” he said, also hailing Turkey’s efforts against ISIL positions on its border.

Turkey’s pounding of the Kurds has sparked suspicions by critics that
Ankara’s real agenda is keeping Kurdish political and territorial ambitions in check, something the Turkish government denies.