ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey carried out airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants in neighboring Iraq and Syria on Saturday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, coming a day after an attack on a Turkish military base in Iraq killed nine Turkish soldiers.
Turkey often launches strikes against targets in Syria and Iraq it believes to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a banned Kurdish separatist group that has waged an insurgency against Turkey since the 1980s.
The defense ministry said that aircraft struck targets in Metina, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil in northern Iraq, but didn't specify areas in Syria. It said fighter jets destroyed caves, bunkers, shelters and oil facilities “to eliminate terrorist attacks against our people and security forces … and to ensure our border security.” The statement added “many” militants were “neutralized” in the strikes.
On Friday night, attackers attempted to infiltrate a military base in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, killing five soldiers. Four others died later of critical injuries. The Turkish government said that 36 militants were killed in Iraq, and nine others in Syria, in the 24 hours following the attack.
There was no immediate comment from the PKK, the government in Baghdad or the Kurdish region's administration.
Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq in April 2022, during which it established several bases in Duhok…