Turkish Warplanes Strike Suspected Kurdish Rebel Hideouts in Northern Iraq

Turkish warplanes on Wednesday hit eight suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq, the military said, the latest in Turkey's moves against separatists who have often used neighboring Iraq to stage attacks.

No rebel deaths were immediately reported.

The warplanes struck at eight caves and other places used by the rebels in an "effective pinpoint operation" after spotting a group of rebels preparing to spend the winter in the hideouts, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site.

On Tuesday, the military claimed that more than 200 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq have been hit since Dec. 16, killing hundreds of rebels. Wednesday's strikes were the third confirmed aerial operation against the rebels since Dec. 16. The military also has confirmed that it sent ground troops to hunt down the rebels on Dec. 18.

The military said the hideouts were located in the Zap region, near Iraq's border with Turkey.

"It was observed that a large group of terrorists who were being watched by the Turkish Armed Forces for a long time were preparing to spend the winter ... in eight caves and hideouts," the military said.

"Turkish warplanes have struck the mentioned terrorist group targets with an effective pinpoint operation as of the morning of Dec. 26," the statement said, adding that the military was determined to continue its operations against the rebels.