Turkey says it "rejects and condemns" a statement by the head of the Arab League who criticized the country for conducting air strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

A Foreign Ministry statement on Wednesday called on Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi to "support the fight against terrorism, not terror" after he asked Turkey to respect Iraq's sovereignty and cautioned against an escalation of violence.

Turkey has launched air raids against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, across the border in Iraq in recent weeks, amid increased violence between the government forces and the insurgents.

Iraq last week called the raids a dangerous escalation and a violation of its sovereignty.

Turkey's Western allies have urged restraint and called on Ankara to resume peace efforts with Kurds.