Turkey targeted Kurdish militants in northern Syria and Iraq on Sunday with a series of airstrikes, days after a bombing killed six people in Istanbul.
Military bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and Syrian People’s Protection Units, or YPG, were hit by the attacks, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
“Terrorist hideouts, bunkers, caves, tunnels and warehouses were destroyed with great success,” Akar said. “The so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization was also hit with direct hits and destroyed.”
Turkish officials blamed the bombings in Istanbul last Sunday, which killed six people and injured dozens more, on the PKK and YPG. Both groups have denied involvement.
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Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted that “it’s time for Istiklal”, a reference to the avenue where the bombing took place.
Bulgarian prosecutors have arrested five people involved in the bombing, according to Reuters: three men of Moldovan descent and a man and woman of Syrian-Kurdish descent.
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The PKK, which has been fighting an insurgency in Turkey since 1984, is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States, although the US has joined the YPG in fighting ISIS in Syria.
“We are determined, determined and able to save our country and our nation from the plague of terror that has plagued our country and our nation for 40 years,” Akar said on Sunday.
The The Bharat Express News contributed to this report.