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EU, US Call for Turkish Restraint Against Kurds

  • VOA News

FILE - European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner-designate Johannes Hahn of Austria addresses the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, at the EU Parliament in Brussels, September 30, 2014

FILE - European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner-designate Johannes Hahn of Austria addresses the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, at the EU Parliament in Brussels, September 30, 2014

The European Union and the U.S. on Tuesday urged Turkey to show restraint in its intensive air bombardment against Kurdish rebels, even as the insurgents killed two more Turkish soldiers and a guard.

Both the EU and the U.S. said Ankara had a right to defend itself against attacks staged by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq. But the EU's enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said the Turkish response "must be proportionate, targeted and by no means endanger the democratic political dialog."

The U.S. State Department called on the PKK to "renounce violence and re-engage in talks" with Turkey, but also said Ankara should "respond proportionately" in its air campaign.

Turkish security sources said Kurdish rebels blew up a military vehicle Tuesday in southeastern Turkey, killing the soldiers and guard.

The blast happened near Arakoy in Sirnak province, where security officials said PKK members detonated a roadside bomb as the vehicle passed by.

FILE - Turkish soldiers in armored vehicles patrol in Sirnak province on the Turkish-Iraqi border, October 21, 2011.

FILE - Turkish soldiers in armored vehicles patrol in Sirnak province on the Turkish-Iraqi border, October 21, 2011.

The attack is the latest in a wave of violence between the PKK and Turkish forces in the past few weeks. Since July 20, PKK attacks have killed at least 18 Turkish security force personnel, while Turkey says it has killed at least 260 PKK rebels.

FILE - Wreckage lies on the ground in front of a Turkish military station covered by a tarpaulin after a suicide attack on August 2, 2015 in east Turkey town Dogubeyazit in Agri Province.

FILE - Wreckage lies on the ground in front of a Turkish military station covered by a tarpaulin after a suicide attack on August 2, 2015 in east Turkey town Dogubeyazit in Agri Province.

Turkey has engaged in a nearly two-week campaign of airstrikes targeting the rebels both in Turkey and across the border in northern Iraq.

The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region, Massud Barzani, earlier this week urged the two sides to resume peace talks. He said the PKK should withdraw from Iraqi Kurdistan and criticized Turkey's airstrikes.

The PKK has been fighting Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has left 40,000 people dead.

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