Turkey has frequently struck targets of the autonomy-seeking PKK, in northern Iraq. But with relations between Turkey and Iraq deteriorating, Baghdad recently warned Turkey against operations on its territory.
Turkish media reported on Monday that 12 F-16 fighter jets, which took off from Diyarbakır military airbase, struck four PKK targets and anti-aircraft batteries along the border with Turkey and on Mount Qandil, on the Iraqi-Iranian border. The strikes occurred on Sunday.
There was no official confirmation of the raids, which were also reported by Firat news, a website close to the terrorist organization.
No casualties were initially reported.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Monday the Turkish air strikes were a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
“Turkey should respect the principles of good neighborliness,” he said in Moscow. “These Turkish attacks on Iraqi territories are not acceptable and we will take the necessary diplomatic measures.”
Kurdish terrorists fighting for self-rule in Turkey’s Southeast use northern Iraq as a springboard for attacks. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict between the terrorists and Turkish security forces since 1984.
“We do understand the reasons behind such acts, yet we do not tolerate such breaches,” Dabbagh said.
In Iraq, Ahmet Deniz, a spokesman for the terrorist organization, said the Turkish warplanes had struck bases on Qandil that had long been abandoned, as well as some villages in the area. He said the bases were deserted after previous strikes and that there were no casualties in the latest round.