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Turkey launches new raid in northern Iraq

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The Turkish army on Saturday launched a new ground and air operation against outlawed Kurdish militants’ bases in northern Iraq, Agence France-Presse reported, citing officials and local media.

“Heroic commandos of the heroic Turkish Armed Forces are in northern Iraq,” the defense ministry tweeted without specifying how many soldiers were involved.

Turkish media said commando forces parachuted into Metina from helicopters while warplanes dropped bombs on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets.

Turkish television showed images of paratroopers jumping from helicopters and camouflaged soldiers firing guns.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU, has for decades used Iraq’s northern mountains as a springboard for its insurgency against the Turkish state.

The Turkish army regularly conducts cross-border operations and air raids on PKK bases in northern Iraq.

In February Turkey launched operation “Claw-Eagle 2” against PKK rebels holed up in the northern Iraqi region of Dohuk.

That operation created controversy because it was designed in part to rescue 12 Turkish soldiers and an Iraqi held captive by the PKK in a cave.

Turkey accused the PKK of executing the 13 men before they could be freed.

The Kurdish insurgency against the Turkish state is believed to have killed tens of thousands of people since it was launched in 1984.

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