Turkey carried out a second wave of air-strikes and broadened its targets to include Kurdish rebels as well as Islamic State, while police arrested hundreds of suspects from both groups in nationwide raids.
F-16 warplanes took off late Friday to bomb Islamic State positions in Syria, according to a statement from the office of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, after carrying out initial strikes early the same day. The “shelters, bunkers, logistical points and caves” of Kurdish PKK rebels in northern Iraq were also hit. The operations were backed by “fire support” from Turkish land forces, according to the statement. Security personnel detained 288 suspects across Turkey last night, bringing the total held to 590, Davutoglu said today.
“F-16 warplanes took off late Friday to bomb Islamic State positions in Syria”
Turkey’s actions against Islamic State follow months of U.S. pressure for the NATO member to take a more active role. Turkey acceded to another longstanding U.S. request this week by allowing use of a key base for air-strikes by American jets.
Yet Friday’s roundup of militants shows how differently the two allies still view the conflict in Syria. The U.S. has given air support to the Syrian Kurds, who have close ties with the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in Turkey, as they battle jihadists. Turkey considers both sides to be terrorists.