April 6, 1997 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Around 15, 000 Turkish troops entered northern Iraq three weeks ago in an offensive against the PKK. The rebels use the remote region to launch attacks in their fight for self-rule in southeastern Turkey. Although the operation has been condemned by Baghdad and much of the Arab world, the Turkish Air Force continues to bomb the PKK.
On Sunday six F-16 fighter-bombers took off from Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey
and headed towards the border with Iraq, witnesses said. Military sources said the planes were on bombing missions against rebel camps near Hakurk in northern Iraq. On Tuesday F-16 jets have launched bombing raids on the PKK in the Khwakurk (=Hakurk) area of northern Iraq on Tuesday from Diyarbakir airbase in southeast Turkey. On Wednesday, two Turkish F-16 jets have taken off from southeast Turkey to bomb PKK positions in the Zab region. Zab is the site of the PKK's main stronghold in northern Iraq, a network of caves which Turkey's army said it captured last week.