Turkish Jets Strike Kurdish Rebels in Northern Iraq

Turkish jets have struck suspected Kurdish rebel targets close to the border in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdish officials said Monday.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Turkish military, but if confirmed it would be third straight night of Turkish aerial attacks on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

In a statement posted on its official Web site, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Turkish warplanes bombed several border areas near the towns of Neroye, Rekan and Dahuk in northern Iraq on Sunday night.

It said Turkish jets also bombed mountainous areas near Zakho earlier on Sunday. Turkish artillery units sporadically shelled the same areas, the Web site reported.

There was no information on possible casualties or damage, said the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which is Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party.

The PKK, considered to be a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been fighting since 1984 for self-rule in Kurdish areas of Turkey. The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people.

This year, Turkey has launched several cross-border aerial attacks to stamp out PKK bases in northern Iraq. In February, it also sent ground troops for an eight-day cross-border incursion, in pursuit of the rebels.

Turkish warplanes on Friday pounded rebel positions inside Turkey, in retaliation for a rebel attack on a military outpost close to the border with Iraq.

The following day, Turkish warplanes and artillery units destroyed key Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq — including a communications center, the military said, without giving any casualty toll.