Turkish army launches land operation with 22 battalions

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan said air and ground operations were underway today as a first step against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a day after militant attacks near the border with northern Iraq killed 24 Turkish soldiers, inflicting one of the largest losses suffered by the military.

Security officials said around 1,000 Turkish commandos were scouring the mountainous terrain several kilometers inside Iraqi territory, and 21 militants had been killed during the counter attack.

Cobra helicopter gunships have backed up ground forces, and warplanes have carried out air strikes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011
ISTANBUL – Reuters