News / Europe

Kurdish Rebels Launch Major Attack Near Iraqi Border

Veteran soldiers shout slogans during a protest against the latest attacks by Kurdish rebels against the Turkish military outside Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2011.
Veteran soldiers shout slogans during a protest against the latest attacks by Kurdish rebels against the Turkish military outside Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2011.
Dorian Jones

The Kurdish rebel group, PKK, has inflicted one of most deadly attacks on the Turkish armed forces in recent years - killing at least 24 Turkish soldiers and injuring 16 others near Turkey's border with Iraq.

Using heavy weapons the Kurdistan Workers Party carried out attacks on several army bases in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The attacks occurred in the mountainous Hakkari province that borders Iraq. With as many as 200 rebels believed to have been involved, it was one of largest operations carried out by the group in recent years.

The deadly attack has caused shock and anger in Turkey. Turkish president Abdullah Gul, who only a few days before visited soldiers in the region, promised a strong response.

The state’s decision is to combat terrorism to the very end without ever compromising and with determination,” Gul said in televised remarks. He added, "Senior generals are traveling to the region and forces will do everything they can to put an end to this business.”

That response is already occurring, according to news reports saying Turkish soldiers have crossed into neighboring Iraq in pursuit of the Kurdish rebels.

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2011.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2011.

Turkish Defense journalist Metehan Demir said the presence of the PKK in northern Iraq is challenging.

“The biggest problem for Turkey in fighting against terrorism is infiltration of PKK terrorists from Northern Iraq. Turkey has been trying to take measures to stop the infiltration, but always failed," said Demir.

The Turkish air force is carrying out numerous strikes against those bases. For the last few months, Turkish jets have regularly bombarded the PKK in Iraq, claiming to have killed over 300 rebels.

The PKK has been fighting the Turkish state for greater Kurdish rights since 1984. But since ending their cease-fire after this year's June general election in Turkey, fighting has rapidly escalated.

More than 50 members of the Turkish security forces have been killed. The government has threatened to launch a major military operation into neighboring Iraq to remove the PKK bases and thousands of soldiers are massed on the Iraqi border.  

Observers warn that the latest attack will only add to pressure on the government to carry out such an operation. With winter approaching the mountainous region, though, the likelihood of any major military incursion is lessening.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid