Turkey airstrikes target Daesh, PKK positions in Syria and Iraq

Published July 25th, 2015 - 06:29 GMT
Turkish F-16 fighter jets hit three Daesh targets in Syria on Friday morning. (Twitter)
Turkish F-16 fighter jets hit three Daesh targets in Syria on Friday morning. (Twitter)

Turkish fighter jets have conducted airstrikes on terrorist groups Daesh in Syria and the PKK in Iraq, the Prime Ministry announced early Saturday.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a late-hour high-level meeting -- attended by ministers and security chiefs -- on the campaign against the terrorist groups.

The Prime Ministry statement said the operation targeted PKK camps, shelters, caves and logistics points located in the mountainous northern Iraq region.

It said the land forces simultaneously hit PKK and Daesh targets with artillery deployed near the Turkish border.

After a new wave of operations in Istanbul Saturday morning, Turkish security forces have now carried out raids in 22 provinces and detained 320 members of terrorist groups on Friday and early Saturday, the statement added.

Turkey was “determined to take every step to ensure the peace and security of our people”, it said.

The Ministry also noted that Ankara was in contact with its international allies, including NATO and the United Nations, and informed them about the military operation.

Turkish military sources said late Friday fighter jets have taken off from southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakir province towards northern part of Iraq.

On Friday morning, Turkish F-16 fighter jets had hit three Daesh targets in Syria. The jets carried out the operation “without violating the Syrian airspace”, the Prime Ministry said in a statement.

Turkey has stepped up efforts against Daesh since a suicide attack on Monday allegedly carried out by the group killed 32 people in southeastern Sanliurfa province.

Two policemen were killed in retaliation on Wednesday. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for that attack.

On Thursday, gunfire from Syria killed a Turkish military officer and injured two troops in southern Kilis province, prompting Turkish forces to return fire.

Since the early hours of Friday, a total of 297 suspects, including at least 37 foreigners, had been detained across Turkey in a nationwide anti-terrorism operation. Many of those detained are thought to be linked to groups like Daesh, the PKK and its youth wing, and the leftist DHKP-C.

And late Friday, Police have been targeted in two southeastern Turkish provinces, leaving at least 10 policemen injured in explosives attacks and one officer kidnapped, officials said.

On Friday evening, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition can deploy its manned and unmanned aerial vehicles at bases inside Turkey.

Turkish Air Forces would also take part in coalition airstrikes against the terrorist group, the ministry said in a statement.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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