Turkey’s military said on Monday its warplanes bombarded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets overnight after the militants staged a deadly attack in which, one security source told Reuters, 16 Turkish soldiers were killed.
The PKK said it had killed 15 troops in Sunday’s attack on an armed convoy in the Daglica area of Hakkari province, near the Iraqi border, in what would be the bloodiest assault since the collapse of a ceasefire in July.
“Two of our armored vehicles suffered heavy damage after the detonation of hand-made explosives on the road. As a result of the blast, there were martyrs and wounded among our heroic armed comrades,” the PKK said, without specifying a death toll.
Two F-16 and two F-14 jets had struck 13 PKK targets and military operations were continuing “decisively” despite very poor weather, it said.
The clashes mark a crescendo in a stream of deadly attacks since July, which officials said had already claimed the lives of more than 70 members of the security services and hundreds of PKK militants.
The PKK has fought a three-decade-long insurgency against the government, in which 40,000 people have been killed. The group is listed as a terrorist organization in both Europe and the United States.