Turkey Retaliates in Iraq Following Kurdish Ambush

A military convey was ambushed on Wednesday in southeastern Turkey and the Turkish government has “vowed” to retaliate against the attack.

The ambush was carried out with bombs and rocket fire that injured over a dozen people and led to the death of seven Turkish soldiers and one guard.

The ambush took place in the Hakkari province which borders northern Iraq and is heavily populated by ethnic Kurds.

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The attack has infuriated the Turkish government, particularly since it has taken place during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.

Leaders are responding to the attack arguing that they have lost patience with the Kurdish insurgency movement.

Turkish president Abdullah Gul said of the attacks, “Whoever thinks that he can bring Turkey into line with terror, violence and weapons is greatly misled. “

He added, “The cost of this will also be very heavy.”

According to AP, Turkey retaliated within hours of the attack across its border in northern Iraq on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the P.K.K.

Both the United States and the European Union have designated the P.K.K. a terrorist organization.

The newsgroup said that unidentified sources have reported that up to 15 Turkish jets launched air raids on suspected P.K.K. bases. However, they were quick to identify that thus far no Turkish officials have come out to confirm the strikes.

Ethnic Kurds are most frequently found in the southeastern region of Turkey and have been pushing for centuries for further autonomy and human rights; however, with groups like the P.K.K. that utilize violence against Turkey and its citizens, Turkey believes the underlying goal of the Kurds is to establish their own separate Kurdish state.

Fighting with the insurgency movement has intensified over the last month and has claimed the lives of 30 Turkish soldiers.

Whether today’s attacks, and the past month of volatility, lead to further aggression or a cross-border offensive remains to be seen. However, with a fed-up Turkey and a determined P.K.K. movement, the likelihood for violence to subside soon seems unlikely.

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