DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish fighter jets struck Kurdish militant targets in rural areas of Turkey’s southeastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq on Friday, killing 12 militants, security sources said.
Eight Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets near the southeastern town of Semdinli and seven others in northern Iraq, where the group’s leadership is based, were hit in the air strikes, the sources said.
Following intelligence gathered by drones, jets took off from Diyarbakir, the mainly Kurdish region’s largest city, hitting shelters and groups of militants across territory where Turkey regularly carries out air strikes against the PKK.
A military outpost in Semdinli had come under a PKK attack with mortars, anti-aircraft fire and machine guns before dawn on Friday. The army retaliated with artillery fire.
Conflict between the autonomy-seeking PKK and the Turkish military flared up in July last year after the collapse of a ceasefire. Thousands of militants, security force members and civilians have since been killed in fighting across the region.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies, began its insurgency in 1984.
Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Louise Ireland