Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq, the military said, just days after rebels killed 15 soldiers in an attack staged partly from Iraqi soil.
The planes on Saturday bombed rebel hideouts in Iraq’s Avasin Basyan region and returned safely to their bases, the military said.
The military’s deputy chief, meanwhile, accused leaders in northern Iraq of tolerating the rebels.
“We don’t receive any kind of support from the local administration in the northern part of Iraq,” Turkish General Hasan Igsiz said on Sunday. “Our expectation from them is to accept that the terrorist organization is a terrorist organization and eliminate the support provided to it.”
Turkey is urging Iraqi Kurdish leaders to arrest the rebels and cut their supply lines, after rebels on Friday fired mortars and artillery from Iraqi soil onto a military outpost in a Turkish valley in Aktutun. The attack touched off the deadliest battle between Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels in eight months. Fifteen soldiers and at least 23 insurgents were killed, while another 20 soldiers were wounded and two were still missing, the military said.
“They did not die in vain, they did their duties and they succeeded,” Igsiz said.
The Turkish general also said northern Iraqi leaders should block the rebels from using local roads and hospitals.
The Turkish military says it needs Iraqi help to halt the rebel infiltration from bases across the long and mountainous border. It says its surveillance capabilities in Iraq are limited and that the rugged terrain made it difficult to defend positions.
Iraq’s national government has pledged to cooperate with Turkey.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani — who is a Kurd — told Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in a phone call Saturday that he condemned Friday’s attack. He said the “ugliness” of the attack was increased by the fact that it was staged during the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Turkey’s civilian leaders have vowed to respond firmly to the rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in the southeast since 1984.
But on the streets of Turkey, anger has mounted with each funeral held for the slain soldiers.
Public anger has turned toward Turkish leaders as well. On Sunday, mourners booed Gul at a funeral in the western city of Eskisehir and they booed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a funeral in Armutlu village.
“If there is a government, it should show itself,” said 68-year-old Molla Atagur in Armutlu, calling for tougher action against the rebels.
The surge in violence followed relative calm since February, when Turkey staged a weeklong ground offensive against guerrillas based in northern Iraq.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
China is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized — and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data