ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish warplanes bombed 70 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Monday, the military said.
Turkey, which is planning operations against the rebels with the help of U.S. intelligence, has reported five aerial attacks against the PKK guerrilla group in northern Iraq in the past two months. The PKK, which is led by Turkish Kurds who seek autonomy in southeastern Turkey, has launched attacks over the frontier into Turkey from safe havens in Iraq.
"Warplanes belonging to the Turkish Air Force hit targets of the PKK terrorist organization in the Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk regions of northern Iraq in an effective aerial attack that began at 3:00 a.m. (0100 GMT)," the military said on its Web site.
It said the planes hit 70 targets that were "detected and verified by intelligence sources," but did not specify the origin of the intelligence. All planes returned safely from the 12-hour operation, the military said.
"Utmost sensitivity was shown so that the civilian population in the region was not affected," it said.
Adem Uzun, a member of the rebel command, said 15 to 20 Turkish jets bombed rebel areas in northern Iraq, according to Firat, a Kurdish news agency. The agency reported that Uzun said in an interview with a Denmark-based Kurdish television station that the rebels had not suffered any casualties.
Senior Iraqi Kurdish officials confirmed earlier Monday that Turkish jets bombed areas near the towns of Khnera, Khwakurd and Sidakan in Irbil province.
I don't know about you, but a "twelve hour" air operation that hits "70 targets" and is carried out by "15 to 20" aircraft constitutes a pretty clear violation of a whole range of international laws and doesn't say much for the sovereignty of Iraq, does it?
Officially, we're telling the Turks NOT to invade, but as long as they can come across the border and bomb anything they want--reportedly, five times since the middle of December--than who cares, right?
I know, I know. No one's paying attention anymore because the surge is working.