ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish warplanes attacked a group of Kurdish rebels, including senior commanders, in northern Iraq on Sunday, the military said, in another cross-border raid in retaliation for a guerrilla attack that killed 17 soldiers.
The military said its fighter jets pummeled the Zap region — which was the main target of a weeklong ground offensive in February by the military — after intelligence indicated that a group of rebels, including high-level rebel commanders, had gathered there.
The warplanes "hit the mark," and all planes returned to their bases safely, the military's statement said. It provided few details and contained no information about rebel casualties.
The Turkish airstrike was the seventh since rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, killed 17 soldiers on the Turkey-Iraq border on Oct. 3.
Kurdish rebels have stepped up attacks since then, killing four policemen and another person in an ambush in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir last week.
On Saturday, Turkish police captured a Kurdish female would-be suicide bomber who was posing as a pregnant woman in downtown Istanbul, authorities said.
Turkey's civilian and military leaders plan to meet at a security summit on Tuesday to finalize new security measures against the surge of Kurdish rebel violence.
Turkey also has been pressuring the Iraqi Kurdish administration in northern Iraq to help fight the rebels who have been using Iraqi soil as a springboard for attacks against Turkey for decades.
The rebels are fighting for autonomy in the predominantly Kurdish-inhabited southeast Turkey. The fight has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people since 1984.