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    Turkish warplanes and artillery bomb PKK positions in northern Iraq

    Hurriyet English
    11.05.2008 - 09:36 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish warplanes and artillery attacked against terrorist organization PKK positions in northern Iraq on Saturday, after an attack on gendarme headquarters that resulted in the deaths of the six soldiers, Turkish General Staff said in a statement posted on its website. Turkish security forces destroyed the propaganda center of the PKK, Turkish army said in a later statement. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the President Abdullah Gul reiterated determination to counter terrorism following the operations. Iranian army also clashed on Sunday with the outlawed PKK and PEJAK separatists, local sources said. (UPDATED)

    "Targets proven to belong to the PKK terrorist organisation in northern Iraq were put under heavy and effective fire by our air force planes with the support of artillery," the statement said.


    The PKK had attacked an outpost in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Friday night and killed six soldiers had been. Nineteen outlawed PKK separatists had also been killed during the clashes.   


    The "intensive" bombing, which began after 1500 GMT, in the Avasin-Basyan region targeted PKK positions and destroyed all of them successfully, the statement read. 


    An unknown number of outlawed PKK separatists were killed, and determining the extent of casualties were still continuing, it added. In its statement, the General Staff said that Turkish security forces only targeted at the terrorist organization and showed sensitivity not to harm the civilians.


     "The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to fight terrorism with an increasing determination and any treacherous act against the Turkish Republic and its army will be given an immediate and multifold response," it added.


    In a later statement on Sunday the General Staff said Turkish security forces destroyed the propaganda center of the terrorist organization PKK/Kongra-Gel. 


    "Turkish security forces hit and destroyed the press and propaganda center of the terrorist organization PKK/Kongra-Gel as well as some other targets during an air strike on Saturday," the General Staff said in a statement posted on its website.


    The media center, destroyed during the attacks, is believed to belong to Roj TV, a TV channel which is used as a propaganda machine for the outlawed PKK.  


    The PKK and the PEJAK, its breakaway faction in Iran, clashed on Sunday with Iranian army at the Iraqi-Iranian border, the Dogan News Agency quoted some local sources.


    Turkish General Staff had said on Saturday the terrorist Cemil Bayik, who is also said to be a top member of the terrorist organization, escaped to a neighboring country with a crowded group.


    "Our fight against terrorism continue from the air and land, and we will continue our fight in line with the intelligence we acquired until terrorism is eradicated and until terrorists laid down their arms," Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying by the Anatolian Agency.

    He said Turkey could not remain indifferent to what was going on, and Turkey was staging those operation for the sake of its people and for the integrity of the country. Erdogan added Turkey would not make any concessions of its fight, and called on terrorists to benefit from repentance law.

    Gul told reporters on Sunday Turkey will not let any one to get armed and start staging terrorism, and its fight will continue even under the most difficult circumstances. Gul also called on terrorists to see the realities and give up terrorism as soon as possible.


    Turkish army said late on Friday the PKK had dissolved at a great extend, and about 200 separatists on the Mount Qandil was forced to lay down their arms after the air strikes on May 1-2.


    Turkish army held air operations on May 1-2 to Mount Qandil, where the PKK separatists are hidden. Some 150 separatists were killed in the operations, which are described as an "important blow to terrorists," and a new stage in the fight against PKK but Turkish officials. 


    Turkey has stepped up military action against the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by much of the international community including the EU and the U.S., since December, carrying out several air strikes and a week-long ground incursion into northern Iraq in February, where it says more than 2,000 PKK separatists take refuge.

    The United States has backed Turkey's military action in Iraq by providing intelligence on PKK movements there. Turkey has also revived dialogue with the Kurdish administration of northern Iraq, whom it has long accused of tolerating and even aiding the PKK, in a bid to enlist their cooperation against the PKK.

    The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorisation for cross-border military action against the PKK, which expires in October. Turkish army has launced a week-long ground operation against PKK positions in northern Iraq in February.

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