Turkey: 100 Killed in North Iraq Bombings

Attacks Seen as Shift Away From Diplomacy

by Jason Ditz, August 23, 2011

Six days into its attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan, the Turkish military says it has launched 130 air strikes and 350 artillery attacks against the region, killing an estimated 100 people, the vast majority of them Kurdish rebels loyal to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The attacks also killed at least seven civilians, who were slain over the weekend when an air strike destroyed a civilian car in Kortek Village. The Turkish government has not commented on the civilian casualties of their attacks.

The attacks are the first Turkish bombing campaign against Iraq in a year, and signal a serious shift away from diplomacy in dealing with Kurdish factions in the nation’s southeast. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan defended the attacks, saying the government was “obliged to carry out these operations for the peace of the nation.

The attacks have not sat well with Iraqi Kurdish officials, however, who after eight years of a US occupation which has seen attacks by both Turkey and Iran seem to be running out of patience on the strikes.

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