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Turkish Warplanes Hit Kurdish Rebel Bases in Northern Iraq


Turkey's military says its warplanes have raided Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq as part of ongoing operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The military said Friday many rebels were killed in the Qandil area of northern Iraq, but did not give a precise casualty figure.

PKK spokesman Ahmed Danas said the rebels suffered no losses in the strikes.

It was the second such air operation by the Turkish military in a week. Turkish warplanes have been hitting PKK positions in northern Iraq since mid-December.

Ankara accuses the PKK of using northern Iraq as a base to launch deadly raids into southeastern Turkey.

Turkey has long demanded that Iraqi authorities crack down on the rebels.

On Thursday, senior Turkish policy advisor Ahmet Davutoglu discussed the issue in Baghdad with the prime minister of northern Iraq's Kurdish region, Nechirvan Barzani.

The first direct high-level meeting between Turkey and northern Iraq's Kurdish regional government focused on numerous political, security and economic issues.

A statement from Kurdistan's regional government following the talks says they were held in a "cordial and open" atmosphere. It says Prime Minister Barzani recognized Turkey's concerns and highlighted the importance of solving problems through cooperation, political negotiation and dialogue.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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