Reports: Turkish jets hit IS targets in Syria, Kurds in Iraq

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 24, 2015 7:07 PM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish jets flying from a base in Turkey's southeast have struck Islamic State group targets across the border in Syria for the second straight night, Turkish news reports said Saturday. The fighter jets also hit camps of Kurdish PKK militants in northern Iraq, the reports said.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the airstrikes reported by the state-run TRT television and other media. If confirmed, it would be the first time Turkey has struck Kurds in northern Iraq since a peace deal was announced in 2013 between Ankara and the rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The private Dogan news agency said the Turkish jets were targeting PKK training facilities, shelters and anti-aircraft batteries in northern Iraq.

Tensions have flared with Kurds in recent days after an IS suicide bombing in the southeastern Turkish city of Suruc on Monday killed 32 people. Kurdish groups blame the Turkish government for not combatting IS.

On Wednesday, the PKK claimed responsibility for the killing of two Turkish policemen near the Kurdish majority city of Sanliurfa, near the Syrian border.

In other attacks, seven police officers were injured after suspected PKK militants hurled a small bomb at a police station in Bismil town, near the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, the Dogan news agency reported Friday. Assailants also hurled a small bomb at officers inside a police vehicle in the town of Semdinli, near the border with Iraq, the agency said.

Turkey started attacking IS positions after the suicide bombing and an IS ambush that killed a Turkish soldier.

On Friday, three F-16 jets struck IS targets that included two command centers and a gathering point near the Turkish border in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine IS militants were killed in the raids.

In a related development, Turkey announced Friday that it was allowing its air bases to be used by the U.S.-led coalition forces for operations against IS extremists.