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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2007, 21:56 GMT
Turkey 'in new Iraq air strikes'
Turkish air force jets (file picture)
Ankara has stepped up cross-border raids on PKK bases in Iraq
Turkish warplanes have again bombed Kurdish rebels across the border in northern Iraq, Kurdish officials say.

Jabbar Yawer, a spokesman for the Iraqi Kurdish security forces, said the raid lasted more than three hours but "there was no damage or loss of life".

Turkey has carried out two other air attacks on north Iraq in the past week, as well as a small ground incursion.

Turkey blames rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) of launching attacks on Turkey from bases in Iraq.

Turkish fighter jets first carried out reconnaissance in the Qandil mountains near the border with Iran, before bombing certain positions in north Iraq, the Turkish Anatolia news agency cited Mr Yawer as saying.

7 Oct PKK rebels kill 13 Turkish troops near Iraqi border
17 Oct - Turkish MPs allow military operations in Iraq
21 Oct - 12 Turkish troops die in PKK ambush near Iraqi border
30 Nov - Turkish cabinet backs PKK pursuits in Iraq
13 Nov - Turkey shells PKK targets in Iraq, Baghdad says
1 Dec - Turkish army targets rebels in Iraq, inflicting "heavy losses"
16 Dec - Turkish jets bomb PKK targets in Iraq for the first time
18 Dec - Some 300 Turkish troops cross over into northern Iraq
22 Dec - Turkish jets bomb PKK targets in Iraq a second time
23 Dec - Turkish planes strike for a third time

Mr Yawer also told Turkish television channel NTV that three jets took part in the raid in the uninhabited Rawanduz area.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Turkish military.

Ankara approved cross-border raids on PKK bases in October, saying the Iraqi government and its US backers were not doing enough to halt attacks.

The PKK - which is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU - is thought to have about 3,000 rebels based in Iraq.

The Turkish government believes that many of these rebels are holed up in the Qandil mountains.


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