Turkish warplanes bomb rebel positions in Iraq | world | Hindustan Times
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Turkish warplanes bomb rebel positions in Iraq

Turkish fighter jets bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, a spokesman for Iraqi Kurdistan's Peshmerga security forces has said.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2007 03:37 IST

Turkish fighter jets bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, a spokesman for Iraqi Kurdistan's Peshmerga security forces has said.

Jabar Yawar said the jets yesterday bombed an area about 85 kilometres north of Irbil near the border with Turkey for about an hour and a half. He said there were no civilian casualties because the area was deserted due to a fear of Turkish attacks.

Yawar said he did not know whether any Kurdish rebels had been killed.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred questions to the General Staff, but military authorities were not immediately available to discuss any military operations yesterday.

"We are using our nation's natural right under international law," while keeping within limits of reason, Erdogan said when journalists asked about reports of a fresh cross-border operation, state-run media reported.

The US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said before yesterday's attack that the US acknowledges Turkey's right to defend itself but asked the US ally and NATO member not to endanger Iraq's stability.

"At the same time we've also said that we all have a pretty substantial interest in the stability of Iraq and none of us want to see operations pursued in a manner that can threaten basic stability inside Iraq," Crocker said.

On Saturday, Turkey staged its third cross-border operation against rebels in neighbouring Iraq in less than a week. The pro-Kurdish news agency Firat said the rebels did not suffer any casualties in Saturday's attack.