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Turkish jets attack Kurdish militants after Istanbul bombing

Turkey has launched overnight airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, targeting Kurdish militants it said were behind the Istanbul bombings that it vowed revenge.

In a statement, the defense ministry said it had bombed bases belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian branch, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), across the Turkish border. A ministry tweet said the air operation was “successfully completed.”

Last week, Turkey said it would retaliate after a bomb attack by Kurdish militants in central Istanbul on November 13 killed six people.

“It’s time to do the math,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavşoğlu wrote on Twitter after the army launched operations late Saturday.

Turkey regularly conducts air and light ground operations in northern Iraq, a stronghold of the PKK. The army has also made three major incursions into Syria since 2016 to combat Kurdish rebels, controlling thousands of square kilometers of territory along its borders.

It is unknown if there will be further strikes. A major invasion next year could garner support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of next year’s elections. This year, he promised to invade Syria again, but failed to get the go-ahead from Russia and Iran, which support Syrian President Assad.

The US, which supports the YPG-controlled Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in its campaign against the Islamic State, also opposes further Turkish military intervention in Syria.

The SDF reported Reuters that strikes hit two villages where internally displaced persons live. It was not immediately clear whether people were killed or injured.

https://www.ft.com/content/b5c0de74-cc60-4465-a1ff-352af3164c7e Turkish jets attack Kurdish militants after Istanbul bombing

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