Turkey launches first airstrikes in north Iraq after coup attempt

The Turkish military launched airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq for the first time since last week's failed coup, state media reported Wednesday.

Turkey's Anadolu state news agency reported that "20 terrorists were neutralized" in the strikes.

Bakhtiar Dogan, PKK's spokesman in Iraq, said that Turkish jets had bombed the party's positions in the Hakurk region on Tuesday, causing no casualties but sparking fires on farms in the area.

Dogan added that PKK fighters had shot down a Turkish drone north of Dohuk, a city in Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Fighting between the Turkish government and Kurdish militants restarted last July after peace talks broke down, ending a two-year ceasefire.

Turkey has launched a massive purge following last week’s failed coup attempt. The crackdown included the arrest of 6,000 soldiers, among them 100 generals. That corresponds to about one-third of all generals in the armed forces.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin insisted the arrests would not harm the military's effectiveness.

Among those arrested were two of four army division generals, the chiefs of the Second Army and Third Army.

The Second Army is responsible for parts of Anatolia and borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran, while the Third Army has duties in the eastern and northern provinces - and is reportedly involved in the fight against the Kurds.

Last update: Wed, 20/07/2016 - 16:08

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