February 6, 2008 (by Jon Somerville) - Turkish F-16s departed again from Diyarbakir AB at 1900 hours on February 6, 2008 to strike targets in Northern Iraq.
181 Filo jet low over Turkey landscape. 181 Filo is thought to be the forefront F-16 unit in this campaign.
Six aircraft were involved from 8th Base, Diyarbakir AB, Turkey
and headed east towards Iraq
on February 6th. Diyarbakir AB is the closest base to the Iraqi boarder.
The attack has been part of an ongoing campaign that started back on December 16, 2007 in the early morning hours. A total of 24 F-16s were involved hitting four separate targets during that first attack. Since then there have been several strikes involving many units of the Turkish Air Force.
The source of this latest aggression goes as far back as 1984 when the PKK, a terrorist group, has waged a bloody campaign against the Turkish military. US forces are allowing the raids and have even been reported to have provided some intelligence for Turkish use. Although American involvement the State Department and Defense Department officials were angered that they were not notified ahead of time when the strikes were to occur and that notification was made when the strike aircraft on there way to the target.
It is unclear at this time as to weather this will be a short campaign of a few months or be turned into long broader conflict.