Turkish Airstrikes Respond to PKK Bombing

02.10.2023 posted by Admin

Turkish Airstrikes Target PKK After Capital Bombing

Turkey's military conducted airstrikes on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq on Sunday, shortly after the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in the capital, marking another incident in their nearly four-decade insurgency.

According to a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry, their warplanes targeted 20 PKK sites, including caves, bunkers, shelters, and warehouses in Metina, Hakurk, Kandil, and Gara regions. The statement emphasized that they neutralized numerous terrorists using domestically produced ammunition and cited Article 51 of the United Nations Charter to justify their actions based on self-defense rights.

The PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, previously acknowledged their involvement in the bombing outside Turkey's Interior Ministry building, resulting in one fatality and two injuries, as reported by the pro-PKK Firat News Agency.

The ministry disclosed that two attackers killed a civilian and stole his vehicle before a parliamentary session in Ankara. Two police officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries. One of the assailants detonated himself, while the other was subdued. The investigation uncovered an arsenal at the scene, including four different firearm types, three hand grenades, a rocket launcher, and C-4 explosives. While one attacker was confirmed as a PKK member, the identity of the second attacker remains unknown.

Kurds, constituting the largest minority in Turkey, accounting for 15% to 20% of the population according to Minority Rights Group International, lack an official homeland or country. Some portions of Kurdistan are acknowledged by Iran, with the province of Kordestan, and Iraq, hosting the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) or Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ankara claims that the PKK trains separatist fighters and carries out attacks against Turkey from bases in northern Iraq and Syria, where a PKK-affiliated Kurdish group controls significant territories. Terrorism incidents in Turkey were distressingly common in the mid to late 2010s due to spillover insecurity from war-torn Syria along the shared border.

In November of the previous year, Ankara attributed a bomb attack on Istanbul's central pedestrian boulevard, which killed six and injured many, to the PKK. Turkey has conducted various operations against the PKK both within its borders and across the border into Syria in recent years.

In an address to lawmakers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to persist in the fight against terrorism, aiming to eliminate terrorists at home and abroad. He characterized Sunday's attack as the "last gasps of terrorism" in the country.
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