Turkish Warplanes Bomb Kurdish Rebel Bases in Iraq

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Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel bases deep inside Iraq for three hours overnight, a rebel spokesman said Friday.

Warplanes bombed Iraq's Qandil region as well as 10 other sites near the Iraq-Iran border in an operation that began Thursday night and stretched into early Friday, rebel spokesman Ahmed Danas said.

Turkish state-run media and Firat, a pro-Kurdish news agency based in Europe, both reported the bombings but Turkey's military neither confirmed or denied the operation Friday.

Turkey is battling Kurdish rebels known as the PKK, who took up arms in 1984 in their bid for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast. The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people.

The group's leadership is believed to be hiding in Mount Qandil, which straddles the Iraq-Iran border and is 60 miles from the Turkey's border with northern Iraq.

The Turkish military has launched several air assaults on PKK targets in northern Iraq in recent months. In February, it staged a major ground offensive which lasted eight days. Since then, clashes between rebels and Turkish troops have erupted along Turkey's border with Iraq.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist group.