The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have bombed PKK targets in the Zap, Avasin and Hakurk regions in Northern Iraq, as well as the Iraqi part of Kandil Mountain.
DTP calls for operations to seize
According to Firat News Agency, Fatma Kurtulan, an MP in Van for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), stated: "We don't consider operations a solution. Violence worsens the deadlock. For thirty years, these methods have not brought a solution. Operations must stop at once. We believe in dialogue and democratic methods."
Meanwhile, Selahattin Demirtas, deputy leader of the DTP parliamentary group, has criticised Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "One the one hand the Prime Minister is talking about 'a return home' (referring to possible legislation allowing PKK members to return home), on the other hand he is carrying out operations. These two do not match. There is a contradiction. We were the only party in parliament to oppose the bill (allowing cross-border operations). We believe that no operation will solve problems, but will rather make the problem worse."
At least one person killed
According to Reuters news, Turkish fighter planes attacked ten villages in Northern Iraq;the agency quoted local informants as saying that one woman was killed and two people were wounded. The agency interpreted current developments as a possible build-up to more intensive attacks on PKK centres.
The Firat News Agency also spoke of one dead, a village woman called Ayse Ali Evdo. The agency claimed that the attacks targeted civilians in the Kandil Mountain area and that at least six people were wounded, one of them named as 20-year old Zozan Mamasir. Mamasir and other wounded were taken to hospitals in Erbil.
Two local authority representatives in Süleymaniye were said to have reported the bombing of two villages there. Houses and schools are said to have been destroyed.
According to Pukmedia, who quoted an anonymous source, Turkish fighter planes attacked Zaho. No information on numbers of dead or wounded was given.
General Staff: Operations will continue as long as necessary
On its official website, the Turkish General Staff said that "wide-ranging" attacks had been carried out in the Zap, Avasin, Hakurk and Kandil Mountain areas on Sunday, 16 December, from 1 am until 4:15 am, and that the targets belonged to the "PKK/Kongra-Gel terrorist organisation".
The statement continued, "Following the vacation of the operations area by our planes, long range guns belonging to the Ground Forces Command continued to fire at specified targets in the north of Iraq."
The statement further said that the TAF would continue operations "according to military needs" and emphasised that the attacks were aimed at PKK/Kongra-Gel rather than "the people living in the north of Iraq and local groups not acting in a hostile manner."
The "valued members of the press" were warned by the General Staff "not to enter operations areas for reasons of safety." (NZ/TK)