ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish warplanes hit separatist Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq early Sunday, Turkey's military said. One woman was killed, a local official in Iraq said.
The warplanes hit targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in regions close to the border with Turkey and in Qandil mountain, which is further way from the frontier, the military said in a statement on its Web site. All planes returned to their bases, it said.
After the planes left the operation zone, the army continued firing on the targets in the north of Iraq with long-range weapons, the military said. Artillery units could be seen firing shells toward Iraq in the early hours of Sunday from the town of Cukurca — where the borders of Turkey, Iran and Iraq meet — private Dogan news agency footage showed.
In Iraq, a top official said Turkish warplanes bombarded 10 Kurdish villages, killing one woman and injuring two others.
Abdullah Ibrahim, a top local official in the administrative center of Sangasar, acknowledged that there were Kurdish rebel bases in the area, about 105 miles from the Turkish border, but said they were far from the villages that were hit.
"The villagers are now scared and are hiding in nearby caves. They lost all their properties," Ibrahim said.
An Iraqi army officer with the border guard said the attack began about 2:30 a.m. on three villages in Iraq's Qandil mountain chain, where Turkish and Iranian Kurdish rebels are based. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
PKK "targets in the regions of Zap, Avasin and Hakourk located in Iraq's north, and deep in the Qandil mountain ... were hit through a large-scope aerial operation of the Turkish Air Force," the military said.
It said the air strikes began at 1:00 a.m. and the planes returned at 04:15 a.m.
The military vowed to press ahead with operations against the PKK "according to military needs."
It said the operation was directed against the PKK and not against the local population in northern Iraq.
The military statement also urged the media to keep out of the region for their safety.