23 Aug 2011

Turkey says scores of Kurd rebels killed in Iraq raids

10:38 pm on 23 August 2011

Turkish military operations in northern Iraq have killed about 100 Kurdish guerrillas since the launch of artillery and air strikes against the separatist group, the armed forces said on Tuesday.

The air strikes are the first against rebels in the mountains of northern Iraq in more than a year and mark an escalation of the 27-year-old conflict after the collapse of efforts to negotiate a settlement, Reuters reports.

In six days of cross-border air raids, Turkish warplanes struck 132 targets of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which uses the region as a base to launch attacks on Turkey.

The armed forces launched the operations on 17 August in response to a surge in PKK attacks that killed nine security personnel in south-east Turkey.

Kurdish politicians in northern Iraq have condemned the raids, saying they were contrary to international norms.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.