Turkey Launches Air Strikes on Kurdish Rebels in Response to Suicide Bombing

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After a devastating suicide explosion targeted the interior ministry, a swift and robust response materialized from Turkey as it launched a series of air strikes on the Kurdish rebels believed to be responsible, located in northern Iraq. Turkish officials conveyed that the operation successfully managed to obliterate 20 established targets, supposedly taking down numerous militants hailing from PKK, a rebel group that has been outlawed.

Early on Sunday, the outcasted group,to which the attack on the nation’s capital was credited, asserted that the bombing was executed through a collaborator who rendered himself in the process. Hot on the heel of the initial explosion was a second attacker, who was promptly neutralized by law enforcement, albeit leaving two police officials injured in the showdown.

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Across Turkey, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, better known as the PKK is branded a terrorist faction. The Sunday morning aerial offensives were specifically engineered to strike at the heart of the PKK – their hideouts, ammunition stores, and bunkers, as per the Turkish defense ministry.

The epicentre of the assaults was Mount Qandil, positioned near the Iranian border and racially marked as a PKK fortress, numerous Kurdish news outlets suggested. Furthermore, the retaliatory attack was set in motion directly after a detonation in Ankara’s Ataturk Boulevard, timed just hours before the country’s parliament was poised to resume after long summer recess.

The responsibility for the initial bombing was claimed by a shadowy outfit identified as the Immortals Battalion, with an alleged agenda aimed at the ministry due to its proximity to the parliament. The incident kicked off during the morning commute at around 09:30 local time when the attackers launched a distraction explosive followed by open gunfire leading to a devastating suicide explosion.

Although the first attacker was gunned down inside the compound in swift police action, two officials were injured in the line of duty, one, unfortunately, sustaining an injury to the eye along with both of his legs, the other taking a bullet to his chest. Despite the dire circumstances, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya reassured that there were no immediate threats to their lives.

Reports suggest the assailants had seized their vehicle the prior day from Kayseri, a city situated some 260 km south-east of the capital, Ankara, after killing the car’s unsuspecting driver. Authorities are now reviewing the vast swathes of security footage, making an attempt to shed light on the origin of these attackers.

In his lauded opening speech for parliament, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded the act of terror as “the final flutters of terrorism”. Erdogan’s vows resounded strongly, ensuring that those undermining their citizens’ peace and safety will fail and will continue to fail.

The Kurdish combatants have been receiving a blunt brunt of the situation. Their leaders are jailed, and military campaigns are being carried out against their fortifications within Turkey and across its border in Syria and Iraq. This incessant strife between the PKK and the Turkish government, which rekindled in 2015, has already claimed over 40,000 lives.