It is reported that the PKK mountain bases in the Turkish provinces of Sirnak, Hakkiri, Siirt, and Van have been bombed by several Turkish fighter jets. These are to be reported that they are PKK rebel positions on the boarder of Iraq. They have also bombed the mountain paths that the PKK fighters have used. The incident between the PKK hiding out in Iraq and the Turkish government has been of much concern for the United States and Iraq.
From what an Associated Press cameraman reported, they used several F-16 loaded with bombs and several attack helicopters. The fighter jets and helicopters took off from an air base located in Diyarbakir. The targets are very strategic as the Anatolia news agency explains that the rebels used the mountain paths to cross into Turkey from northern Iraq.
The bombing raids on the PKK rebel bases is a response to an attack carried out by PKK rebels on Sunday, October 21. Twelve Turkish soldiers were killed in the PKK attack. Turkey is still contemplating on sending troops across the border. However, they have been urged not to launch a ground offensive into northern Iraq to target the PKK bases in that area.
The United States had called for restraint. Turkey had said that patience is limited but are willing to exhaust all options of diplomacy. The possibility of attack raises concerns that the northern part of Iraq occupied by the Kurds happens to be the most stable part. Should Turkey take military action, Kurdish occupied northern Iraq could be destabilized.
So far, Massoud Barzani the president of the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq had urged the PKK to stop resorting to violence. He said that they do not accept what the PKK is doing at all such as using Kurdistan as a base to attack neighboring countries.
Both the political and military leaders of Iraq have met to talk about a possible offensive into northern Iraq. This raises concerns of escalating tensions between both Turkey and Iraq. In preparation of a possible offensive, Turkey has built up its military presence at the border. The government has come under heavy pressure to use force from both the public and the media.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had rejected a ceasefire agreement with the rebels. But, he said that there will be a focus towards diplomacy.