Turkish media says Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq and attacked Kurdish rebels who have bases there.

NTV television said Wednesday the soldiers were airlifted five kilometers (three miles) inside Iraq and that the brief operation has ended. It was not clear exactly when the operation occurred and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Turkey periodically carries out artillery and air strikes on suspected militant bases in northern Iraq, which the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party uses as a platform for attacks on Turkish targets. However reports of cross-border ground incursions by Turkish troops are rare.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the group took up arms in 1984.