Turkish military says struck PKK targets in Iraq's Sinjar, northeastern Syria

Turkish army tank is seen stationed near Cizre some 35 kilometers from Turkish Iraq border

Last year, Turkey sent troops into Syria to back Syrian opposition fighters in the battle against the Islamic State group and also to curb what is perceives as the territorial expansion of US -backed Syrian Kurdish forces, which it claims are affiliated with the PKK.

Turkey's military says its warplanes have carried out airstrikes against what it says are Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and in northeastern Syria.

The two regions have become "terror hubs", the Turkish army said, with the PKK frequently using these areas to channel militants, weapons, bombs and ammunition into Turkey.

The air bombardment was carried out around 02.00 a.m. (2300 GMT) local time, it added.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian war, also reported the strikes on the media and military targets in Karachok.

"This treacherous attack has led to the death and wounding of a number of our comrades", read a statement from the YPG general command.

The Turkish Army said it launched strikes against in northern Iraq and northwest Syria "in order to destroy terrorist havens targeting our country".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long said that the Sinjar region, some 115 km (71 miles) from the Turkish border, is becoming a hotbed for PKK militants, and that Ankara would take measures to stop the group expanding its activities there. It appeared to be a mistake, he said, as the peshmerga forces are not hostile to Turkey.

Yawar and other officials said the overnight strike apparently targeted a Yazidi militia allied with Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which Ankara, a key ally of the Iraqi Kurdish government, considers a terrorist organisation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


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