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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid