Invasion of Turkish commandos into North Iraq against PKK Bases

REUTERS  –  ntv – 8.11.2012 – ANKARA: Turkish commandos have staged a raid against Kurd rebel hideouts in Iraqi Kurdistan border region with Turkey, the NTV news channel reported Wednesday. The rare cross-border strike hit targets some five kilometres (three miles) inside the border and came as part of an air-backed operation that has been going on for two days, according to NTV.

Two battalions of special units were flown into to carry out the raid on bases used by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Eight Turkish F16 fighter jets supported the operation. There were no immediate reports on casualties. “The commandos returned home without losses after the small-scale but effective operation,” NTV reported, citing unnamed military sources.

Turkey frequently stages air strikes against PKK bases located across the Iraqi border but land operations are rarely seen in the mountainous zone.

The operations are in line with a Turkish mandate that gives Ankara the authority to order raids to hit suspected bases inside Kurdistan region in  northern Iraq, from where rebels are believed to be infiltrating. Parliament voted in favour of allowing operations in 2007 and has renewed the mandate annually.