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US: Turkey striking at 'terrorists' in Iraq

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 2, 2008
The White House on Friday endorsed Turkey's airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, saying they targeted "terrorists" of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group.

"These are ongoing operations against the PKK, a terrorist organization. The United States, Iraq and Turkey are all committed to dealing with this problem," said US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

Earlier, Turkey's military said in a statement that its warplanes struck overnight at PKK hideouts in northern Iraq, along the border with Iran, in "comprehensive and efficient" raids.

Turkey's NTV television news reported that 50 fighter jets participated in the raid, while the pro-PKK Firat news agency said the bombing lasted three hours.

Speaking in northern Iraq, PKK spokesman Ahmed Danis said the rebels had suffered no losses in the strikes but expressed concern that the Turks and the Iranians were increasing their cooperation to try and snuff the rebels out.

Turkish warplanes have been bombing PKK positions in northern Iraq since mid-December. In February, the army conducted a week-long ground offensive against rebel hideouts in the region, where Ankara estimates more than 2,000 militants take refuge.

Turkey's parliament authorized cross-border military action against the rebels for a period of one year in October, paving the way for the ground offensive, which was preceded by five bombing raids on PKK targets in northern Iraq.

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Analysis: German suspects in Afghanistan
Berlin (UPI) May 1, 2008
More and more extremists from Germany are traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan to plot terror attacks; a new video shows a German convert to Islam who calls on Islamists back home to follow his example.

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