Turkish military strikes Islamic State, PKK targets

AP News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2016 3:46 PM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish jets and artillery struck 10 Islamic State targets as they were preparing to fire on Turkey, the country's General Staff said Sunday.

U.S.-led coalition jets and Turkish howitzers hit IS rocket and mortar batteries stationed in north Syria's Dabik region late Saturday night. Eight militants were reportedly killed in the operation, the General Staff said.

IS has recently stepped up its attacks against Turkey, with a suicide attack late last month at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport which killed dozens and injured hundreds.

Meanwhile, Turkish jets also struck seven Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, targets in Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari.

Airstrikes regularly target PKK positions in Turkey and northern Iraq, while fighting and curfews continue in several southeastern towns.

On Sunday, a roadside bomb in the Semdinli district of Hakkari killed five soldiers, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, which blamed the attack on PKK rebels.

Nearly 600 Turkish security personnel have been killed by the PKK since a 2½-year cease-fire ended in July 2015.

The renewed conflict has also led to the death of an estimated 5,000 Kurdish militants, according to Anadolu Agency, and scores of civilians.

The PKP has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state in a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives. PKP is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.