GeriGündem Turkish army releases video of air operation in N. Iraq
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Turkish army releases video of air operation in N. Iraq

Turkish army releases video of air operation in N. Iraq
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The Turkish General Staff released on Friday the video footage of the air operation carried out on May 1 against the PKK in northern Iraq.

Turkish warplanes hit 43 targets including PKK shelters, depots and a communication centre in the Qandil mountains along the Iraq-Iran border, the General Staff said on Friday in a statement posted on its website.

The General Staff said Turkish jets killed a large group of terrorists and destroyed 29 hideouts, five caves, three checkpoints and one communication point belonging to the terrorist organization.

The link for the video can be found here. (Please note the website is in Turkish)    

The attack against the outlawed separatist PKK bases launched at 11 p.m. (20:00 GMT) on Thursday after the PKK separatists were spotted in the Qandil mountain region.

The General Staff said operations of Turkish security forces to deal with terrorism would continue within or outside Turkey in line with military needs.

"The raid...has delivered a major blow to the PKK terrorist organization," the statement read, describing the strikes as "comprehensive and efficient."

The military said the strike had targeted the outlawed separatist PKK, adding it had taken the utmost care not to harm the civilian population.

Iraqi sources told Reuters at least 30 planes were bombing the area, which they said was far from civilian settlements.

The group's top leadership is believed to be hiding in Mount Qandil, which straddles the Iraq-Iran border and is 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the frontier between Iraq and Turkey.

The White House on Friday endorsed Turkey's air strikes against the PKK targets in northern Iraq, saying they targeted "terrorists" of the PKK.

"These are ongoing operations against the PKK, a terrorist organization. The United States, Iraq and Turkey are all committed to dealing with this problem," U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Commander of the Turkish Land Forces General Ilker Basbug said on Friday Turkey has achieved serious progress in the fight against terrorism in 2008, the Anatolian Agency reported.

"The terrorist organization is in a state of confusion and turmoil... Just last night (Thursday), we conducted a successful air operation on Mount Qandil where the terrorists were based. The terrorist organization is trying to get re-organized. Our operations against them will go on unabated until the desired results are obtained," Basbug said.

Turkish warplanes have targeted terrorist positions in northern Iraq since mid-December. In February, the army conducted a week-long ground offensive against PKK hideouts in the region, where more than 2,000 militants take refuge.

The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorization, which expires in October, for cross-border raids against the PKK. The United States has backed Turkish military action against the outlawed PKK separatists by providing real-time intelligence on PKK movements in Iraq.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, including the EU and the U.S..  


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