The government of Turkey just announced they have sent troops into northern Iraq. According to reports from the ground, Turkish forces are bombing, attempting to make helicopter landings, and sending in ground troops, all allegedly to deal with Kurdish “militants.”
Turkish military confirms an air attack and then a ground offensive in Iraq’s Zap, Metina, and Avasin Basyan regions in Northern Iraq
Turkey bombs Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, sends in commandos
Turkey’s military launched air strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq early on Monday.
Artillery. warplanes, drones and helicopters were involved in the strikes on camps, tunnels, ammunition depots and shelters, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. Commandos and special forces units were then airlifted in by helicopter, it said.
“Our operation is continuing successfully,” Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said at air force headquarters in Ankara, flanked by his chiefs of staff, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. “The targets identified in the first phase have been seized.”
Turkey is conducting the military operation against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a four-decade war of autonomy for the Kurds of southeast Turkey at the cost of about 40,000 lives, most of them Kurdish. The group maintains bases in northern Iraq, including a headquarters deep in the Kandil mountains.
The Defence Ministry said Turkey began the military operation after receiving information that the PKK was planning a large-scale attack. Turkey was exercising its right to self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, it said.
Iraq has publicly condemned military incursions by Turkey into its territory to battle the PKK, which have become more frequent since the 2003 invasion by the United States-led coalition. Turkey has established forward bases and outposts in northern Iraq.
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