TuAF F-16s hit terrorist camp in northern Iraq

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Otto

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Unread post16 Dec 2007, 17:02

On Saturday night, 24 F-16s from Diyarbakır AFB (presumably from 181 FS) hit terrorist camps in northern Iraq at 4 different points. All vipers equipped with LANTIRN returned to the base at about 03:00. Air attack was followed by long range artellary hits and ground combat units deployed beforehand engaged the terrorists fleeing.
This is direct a action of Turkish Armed Forces with the approval of Turkish Parlament against terrorism, which had taken over 30.000 lives in Turkiye since 1984.
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marco9

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Unread post16 Dec 2007, 17:43

...and USA watch their Kurdish allies being slaughtered by their turkish allied...

Note that USA might defend Iraq borders under internation law...
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Unread post16 Dec 2007, 19:27

@marco9

Turkish F-16 attack aimed PKK terrorist camps inside norhtern iraq. FYI, PKK is not an ally of USA and recognized as a terrorist group by USA and EU.

Take your political views somewhere else...
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J.J.

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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 01:20

Thanks for launching this topic, Otto!

We await further official info before posting any related "F-16 Conflict News" on our website.

It´s clear: This "air raid" should be significant for TuAF´s latest combat engagements. And we should document that for the history books.

Probably the best online source, currently available:

todayonline.com wrote:Turkish planes bomb northern Iraq in hunt for PKK

Monday, December 17, 2007

Turkish planes bombed suspected rebel bases in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing one woman, damaging infrastructure and forcing villagers to flee, local officials said.

Turkey's general staff said its warplanes had hit the "regions of Zap, Hakurk and Avasin as well as the Qandil mountains" -- known to harbour rear bases of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The Turkish military said the bombardment began at 1:00 am (2300 GMT Saturday) and all its aircraft had returned safely to base by 4:15 am (0215 GMT Sunday). Artillery continued to pound the targets once the planes left.

The raids, which Turkey's armed forces' chief said were carried out with US approval and intelligence, were condemned by the Iraqi government, which called in the Turkish ambassador to explain his country's actions.

"This attack has destroyed hospitals, schools and bridges. We demand that Turkish authorities stop such actions against innocents," deputy foreign minister Mahmoud al-Hajj Humoud said in a statement late Sunday.

Turkey's army chief General Yasar Buyukanit said the air strikes had been carried out with Washington's approval and using US military intelligence, the Anatolia news agency reported.

"The United States gave intelligence," General Buyukanit was quoted as telling the private television channel Kanal D.

"But what is more important is that the United States last night opened northern Iraqi airspace to us. By doing that, the United States approved the operation," Buyukanit said.

"The PKK should watch its step. It should not forget that, for us, its camps and movement in northern Iraq are like a 'Big Brother' show," the general said, referring to the popular reality TV show.

US President George W. Bush last month said Washington would provide Ankara with "real-time" information on rebel movements from its satellites.

In Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed a "successful" operation.

"Last night, the Turkish armed forces carried out a comprehensive air strike against targets of the terrorist organisation in northern Iraq," he said in a televised speech.

"I am satisfied to say that, according to our preliminary evaluations, the operation, undertaken under night conditions, was successful."

The air strikes killed a woman and seriously wounded five other civilians but inflicted no losses on the PKK, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported from Iraq.

"A woman was martyred and five people were heavily wounded" in the village of Leejuwa near the Qandil mountains, Democratic Communities of Kurdistan (KCK) spokesman Ferman Garzan was quoted as saying on its Internet site.

The KCK is an umbrella organisation bringing together the PKK and affiliate groups.

The village was badly damaged in the bombing and two school buildings were destroyed, Garzan said.

"There are no losses on the guerrilla side," he added.

The Iraqi Kurdish militia that provides security in north Iraq said that according to preliminary reports, eight Turkish warplanes bombed villages along the border near the Qandil mountains.

"Some families are fleeing from the villages attacked today. We have dispatched our border teams to check the casualties and damage," said a spokesman, Jabbar Yawar.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan denied any civilian areas had been hit.

"You should trust statements made by the Turkish armed forces," he said in televised remarks.

The PKK, which has waged a deadly insurgency in southeastern Turkey since 1984, said the strikes lasted eight hours.

"An air strike by scores of warplanes and artillery attacks took place against PKK positions," the group said on its Internet site, adding that the raid followed a month of reconnaissance flights by US planes.

The air strikes were at least the second Turkish operation against the PKK inside Iraq this month. Turkish helicopters pounded suspected rebel bases on December 1.

Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek warned Turkey would launch more cross-border strikes if necessary.

"The government, working in harmony with all state institutions, primarily the armed forces, is determined to take this scourge off the country's agenda," the Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.

The Turkish parliament authorised cross-border operations in October, but Ankara has so far held back from any ground assault amid strong lobbying by Washington. — AFP

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/articles/227863.asp


For a first-hand Turkish Armed Forces news release please check out: http://www.tsk.mil.tr/10_ARSIV/10_1_Bas ... BA_37.html
Last edited by J.J. on 17 Dec 2007, 07:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 04:49

It'll be interesting topic to share, Combat ops of TuAF Panthers Sqn. on F-16 conflict news, Any other Sqn involved?
Thanks.
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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 07:52

Latest news from AP:

AP wrote:Turkish planes bomb PKK targets in Iraq

By SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press Writer

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey said dozens of its warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets as deep as 60 miles inside northern Iraq for three hours Sunday, the largest aerial attack in years against the outlawed separatist group. Turkey's military chief said the U.S. gave intelligence and tacit approval for the raid.

An Iraqi official said the planes attacked several villages, killing one woman. The rebels said two civilians and five rebels were killed.

In the nighttime offensive, the fighter jets hit rebel positions close to the border with Turkey and in the Qandil mountains, which straddle the Iraq-Iran border, the Turkish military said in a statement posted on its Web site. It said the operation was directed against the rebels and not against the local population.

As many as 50 fighter jets were involved in the airstrikes, private NTV television and other media reported. Turkey has recently attacked the area with ground-based artillery and helicopters and there have been some unconfirmed reports of airstrikes by warplanes.

The attack came a month after the United States promised to share intelligence with Turkey to help combat the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Turkey's military chief, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, said U.S. intelligence was used.

"America gave intelligence," Kanal D television quoted Buyukanit as saying. "But more importantly, America last night opened (the Iraqi) airspace to us. By opening the airspace, America gave its approval to this operation," he said.

"Even if it's winter, even if there's snow, even if they live in caves, we'll find them and hit them," he added, according to the report. "These operations will continue all the time."

On Oct. 31, the U.S. Defense Department said it was assisting the Turks in their efforts to combat the PKK by supplying them with "lots of intelligence."

The Pentagon had no further comment Sunday on whether it had a role in the airstrikes.

Journalists were barred from entering the stricken areas, but some managed to sneak into the small village of Qlatooka, in Qandil, where bombs had destroyed a school and some homes.

Mukhlis Khadar, 44, said he and his family were woken by the raids and fled their home as soon as the school was hit.

"We left an unbelievable scene behind us," Khadar said. "When we climbed the rocks of the nearby mountain ... we saw flames of fire burning our village. ... Our house disappeared."

Saoqo Mohammad, a 30-year-old woman said: "We are civilians, with no arms or any relation to the PKK, why do they allow such horrible acts against civilians?"

Jamal Abdullah, a spokesman for the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan, told AP Television News: "We call on the Turkish army to differentiate between the PKK and the ordinary people. We don't want the conflict between the Turkish troops and the PKK to turn into a conflict between the Turkish forces and the people of Kurdistan."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lauded the operation and suggested Turkey could stage more attacks on PKK hide-outs in northern Iraq.

"This operation, which was carried out under night conditions, was a success," Erdogan said Sunday. "Our struggle (against the PKK) will continue inside and outside Turkey with the same determination."

The pro-Kurdish news agency Firat, citing the PKK, said two civilians and five PKK rebels were killed. The airstrikes destroyed two schools and a hospital, it said, adding that the hospital had been vacated in anticipation of a Turkish attack.

The Kurdish rebels also said they responded to Turkish raids with anti-aircraft artillery units, Firat reported.

In Iraq, Mohammad Hajj Hammoud, a Foreign Ministry undersecretary, summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad and asked that Ankara end raids "that cause harm to innocent people and affect friendly bilateral relations," the ministry said on its Web site.

The ministry said the raids killed one woman, injured four people and displaced several families.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in the predominantly Kurdish southeast for more than two decades. There has been intense public pressure on the Turkish government to attack rebel bases across the border as rebel attacks have increased in recent months.

Turkey has massed tens of thousands of troops along its border with northern Iraq in response to a series of attacks by the PKK rebels. In October, parliament voted in favor of authorizing the government to order a cross-border operation against the group.

Turkish forces have periodically shelled across the Iraqi border, and have sometimes carried out "hot pursuits" — limited raids on the Iraqi side that sometimes last only a few hours.

The United States and Iraq have, however, called on Turkey to avoid a major operation, fearing such an offensive could disrupt one of the most tranquil regions in Iraq.

Harsh winter conditions in the rugged terrain of northern Iraq reduce the possibility of a large-scale ground offensive, making more airstrikes against the PKK likelier than attacks using tanks or helicopters. Limited and precise air raids are also less likely to hurt Turkey's alliance with the U.S. and Europe or to affect global oil prices than a protracted land battle.

Turkish news reports said a PKK command center in Qandil was hit.

The mountain is a base for the PKK's leadership council and the group has a network of camps around the mountain. But news reports in the past weeks have suggested that PKK fighters may have dispersed from camps in northern Iraq, worried about a possible attack from Turkey.

Abdullah Ibrahim, a senior official in the Iraqi administrative center of Sangasar, said Turkish warplanes bombarded 10 Kurdish villages, killing one woman and injuring two others. He acknowledged that there were Kurdish rebel bases in the area, but said they were far from the villages that were hit.

"The villagers are now scared and are hiding in nearby caves. They lost all their properties," Ibrahim said.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071217/ap_ ... iraq_kurds


Yesterday, AFP already reported:

AFP wrote:More than 20 Turkish planes in Iraq strike: reports

12-16-2007, 10h42
ANKARA (AFP)


More than 20 Turkish planes took part in air strikes early Sunday against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, Turkish media reported.

Without citing sources, the CNN-Turk news channel put the number of planes at more than 20 while the NTV news channel said that some 50 planes had taken part.

NTV said the fleet included warplanes as well as support planes, such as tanker planes for refuelling.

The Anatolia news agency said "many F-16 fighter jets", equipped to carry out night-time missions, took off from a military base in Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey and returned about three hours later.

The Turkish general staff confirmed the air strikes in a written statement on its Internet site, but gave no figures as to how many planes were involved in the operation.

Source: http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=207005
Last edited by J.J. on 17 Dec 2007, 08:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Otto

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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 07:57

Yeah JJ, I'll remember your advice next time.
marco, as Robust stated, pkk is an organization recognised as a terrorist group by both EU and the US. Whatever you call them personally (kurd, rebel, freedom fighter, etc.) will not change the fact. 30.000 lives they claimed are not military, the number is average Turkish citizens (teachers, workers, women, children, a large number of which with Kurdish origin but loyal to government and nation).
Anyway, update on the subject: aircraft involved said to be 48, comprising F-16s and F-4 2020s. F-16s from Bandırma and Diyarbakır AFB, F-4s from Malatya AFB, Turkish KC-135R tankers from İncirlik AFB.
As the general staff website stated, operation is not against Kurdish living in n. Iraq but the terrorist camps used to accomodate kurdish terrorists, unless local authorities act in hostile. No civillian infrastructure was targeted.
And let me remind you the fact. most camps in northern Iraq are well out of civillian population but on the harsh environment of the mountainous area to get advantage of the terrain in case of a military operation.
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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 08:21

Thanks for the updated facts and figures of involved aircraft, Otto! Can you disclose your sources?
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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 08:56

Sabah English Edition wrote:Turkish jets hit Kandil


PKK targets in the Kandil Mountains and the regions of Zap, Avaşin and Hakurk in Northern Iraq were all destroyed by F-16 and F-4 war planes in a three-hour-long air operation.

The Turkish Armed Forces held the biggest operation on Northern Iraq the night before last, since the motion for a cross border operation passed. Fifty war planes, most of which were F-16 and F-4 planes, destroyed PKK targets in the Kandil Mountains and the regions of Zap, Avaşin and Hakurk in Northern Iraq. The air operation started at 1:00 am and ended at 4:15 am. After the air operations, armed forces entered the border region between Şemdinli and Çukurca and hit the targets by land. Cobra and Super Cobra helicopters conducted air surveillance on the border.


Additional text from same source refers to F-14s taking part in the raid. This is inaccurate, more likely they mean't F-4's, so a typo on there part. Plus there is some confusion on there part on number and type of jets participating.

Sabah English Edition wrote:Night strike

Turkish jets, consisting of mainly F-16's and including F-14's fired onto PKK camps in Northern Iraq last night.

Sixty days after the motion authorizing the Turkish government to conduct a cross border operation, the Turkish Armed Forces organized a wide scope air operation against the PKK. The day before yesterday at midnight, 50 planes most of which were F-16's took part in the operation.
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Otto

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Unread post17 Dec 2007, 12:18

JJ, no official statement on the type and number of the equipment used but just the scope and aim of the operation. Only sources are news agents with insiders, most of which provide the number as 48-50 aircrafts - F-16s, F-4 2020s and KC-135Rs - a 3-hours operation in the depth of N. Iraq.
LANTIRN squadrons in TuAF are 161 FS from Bandırma and 181 FS from Diyarbakır. F-4 2020s from 171 FS based in Malatya and tankers all from 101 FS in Incirlik.
So that's the story, if I come across with any official statement, I'll post it.
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Unread post18 Dec 2007, 05:47

Otto,
I read in the newspapers 182 from Diyarbakir (F-16) and also a squadron of F-4E 2020s from Eskisehir (111) also participated in the operation. I don't think we will hear an official announcement.
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Unread post18 Dec 2007, 07:54

Only a small-sized picture, just found on Yahoo! News:

Original caption: A combination image of video footage released by Turkish military authorities on Monday shows what is said to be the bombing of targets in northern Iraq. Turkey's military hit all its targets in weekend air strikes against Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq, the General Staff said on Monday. (Reuters TV/Reuters)
Attachments
Turkish_air_strike.jpg
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Unread post18 Dec 2007, 08:51

JJ,
Here are the videos. Sorry they have Turkish voice-overs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk9qY1JY_GQ
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Unread post18 Dec 2007, 08:56

Thanks for the video link, saladin! To further illustrate all of that, here are two archived photos from TuAF´s public website:
Attachments
Gun_23.jpg
90-0020 and another F-16C block 40 from 161 Filo, both LANTIRN-equipped
Gun_68.jpg
Weapons (Pictures of Turkish Vipers with bombs are very rare ...)
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Unread post18 Dec 2007, 09:19

Two more video links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LcpONS1 ... re=related (probably the best)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN78MdfT ... re=related

What was the code name of this operation? In Turkish I heard and read at least two different versions.
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