July 24, 2008 / 6:37 AM / 11 years ago

Turkish military says hits 13 targets in northern Iraq

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s military said on Thursday its fighter jets hit 13 Kurdish separatist targets in northern Iraq the previous day, but said it was still trying to confirm losses suffered by the rebels.

Operations will continue against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the military said in a statement on its website.

The PKK uses northern Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks on the Turkish military.

“Targets proven to belong to the terrorist organization PKK/KONGRA-GEL in northern Iraq’s Zap region were fired upon successfully by Turkish fighter jets on July 23, 2008,” the statement said.

The military said only PKK targets were fired upon and that no civilian casualties or damage were incurred.

The operation takes place a week after heavy fighting between Kurdish guerrillas and the military in southeast Turkey, and some 40,000 troops are currently stationed along Turkey’s border with Iraq.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since 1984 when the PKK took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in eastern Turkey.

The European Union and the United States consider the PKK a terrorist organization as does Turkey.

Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Jon Boyle

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