As jihadis attack Kurds, so do the Turks
KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) – Islamist terrorists launched a rare attack inside Kurdish-held territory in northern Iraq on Tuesday, briefly taking over a local government compound near several producing oil fields.
The Kurds have largely managed to insulate their autonomous region from violent instability further south whilst holding a long front line against Islamic State terrorists who control a large part of Iraq.
Security sources said a suicide bomber had blown himself up at a checkpoint, clearing the way for three other militants to enter the compound in the town of Dibis 50 km (30 miles) south of the regional capital Erbil.
The three insurgents then occupied the mayor of Dibis’s office, throwing grenades and firing at Kurdish security forces surrounding the compound, security sources said.
Kurdish forces regained control after one of the militants was shot dead and the other two blew themselves up, security sources said. At least four members of the Kurdish security forces were also killed.
Police Chief Serhat Qader said the attack was probably the work of a sleeper cell in Dibis, which has a mixed Arab and Kurdish population. A curfew was imposed on the town afterwards.
ISTANBUL—Turkish jets launched a new series of airstrikes on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the first indication that the government is pressing ahead with its military campaign against them as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s allies in parliament prepare to reclaim one-party rule.
While Mr. Erdogan and the dominant political party he founded celebrated their victory in Sunday’s election, the Turkish military confirmed on Tuesday that it had staged attacks on Monday against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, which has been branded as a terrorist force by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
Turkish security forces also stepped up operations in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday, killing at least four Kurdish activists in clashes and imposing a curfew in part of a town in southeastern Diyarbakir province that has been at the epicenter of protests.
As the military pressed ahead with the campaign, Kurdish politicians issued a new appeal for a cease-fire and warned the incoming government not to interpret its electoral victory as a mandate to rely solely on force to deal with the Kurdish minority’s decadeslong [sic] fight for more rights and freedoms….