The Turkish military says its warplanes have pounded Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, killing 18 militants.

The airstrikes late Monday targeted Qandil, the mountainous stronghold of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK. Ankara and its Western allies designate the PKK as a terrorist organization.

The organization has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state that has claimed 40,000 lives. The conflict reignited last summer, putting an end to a 2½-year peace process.

Hundreds of Turkish soldiers and thousands of Kurdish fighters have lost their lives in the latest chapter of the bitter conflict.

Turkey has also witnessed a series of suicide attacks carried out by Kurdish militants. Last week a female suicide bomber blew herself up near a mosque in the city of Bursa.