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Violence Spreads Across Turkey
International

Violence Spreads Across Turkey

Six members of the security forces were killed in a series of attacks in Turkey amid rising tension between the government and Kurdish forces.

Meanwhile, the US Consulate in Istanbul was attacked by two assailants. A leftist group said it carried out that attack.

In southeastern Sirnak Province, four police officers were killed by a roadside bomb and a soldier died when gunmen fired on a military helicopter, BBC reported.

In Istanbul, a police officer was killed in clashes after a car bombing.

The outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Army Front, or DHKP-C, said on its website it was behind the attack on the US Consulate, describing the US as the "chief enemy of people in the Middle East and in the world."

One of the two women assailants in the attack on the Consulate was wounded and detained, and a rifle and other weaponry were seized, Istanbul's governor said in a statement.

The DHKP-C named the detained woman as Hatice Asik. The group had previously claimed a 2013 suicide attack on the US Embassy in the capital, Ankara. The US Consulate said in a tweet that it was closed until further notice.

The attack came a day after the US sent six F-16 fighter jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey as part of coalition efforts to fight Islamic State.

In the other attack in Istanbul, on a police station in the district of Sultanbeyli, a car bomb was detonated killing one attacker and injuring 10 people, including three police officers.

Two suspected militants and a police bomb disposal expert were killed in ensuing clashes. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later attended the policeman's funeral, which was broadcast live on TV.

In Sirnak, four police officers were killed when their armored vehicle was hit by roadside explosives in the town of Silopi.

A soldier was also killed when suspected Kurdish forces fired on a military helicopter as it was taking off in Beytussebap district. At least seven other soldiers were wounded.

Turkey Strikes PKK Positions

Turkish media reported simultaneous attacks on police and military headquarters in the town of Lice in Diyarbakir Province.

Following the helicopter attack, Turkish helicopters bombed Kurdistan Workers' Party targets in retaliation.

Turkish warplanes overnight carried out a new wave of airstrikes against PKK targets in the country's southeast, the army said Tuesday.

"Seventeen targets of the separatist terrorists were hit with precision and neutralized" in the Hakkari Province on the border with Iran and Iraq, the army said.

The strikes appeared to be in retaliation for a succession of attacks in Turkey on Monday that killed six members of the security forces, which were blamed on the PKK.

Violence in Southeast

Turkey opened its air bases to the US-led coalition in fight against Islamic State last month after years of reluctance and carried out its own bombing raids, stepping up its role after a suspected IS suicide bomber killed 32 people in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border.

However, casting the operations as a war on terrorist groups "without distinction," it simultaneously launched airstrikes on PKK targets in Iraq and in southeastern Turkey, and has arrested more than 1,300 people suspected of links to Kurdish and far-leftist groups in recent weeks.

It has been a high-risk strategy for a country straddling Europe and the Middle East, which depends on tourism for around a tenth of its income, leaving it exposed to the threat of reprisals.

The military launched an air campaign against PKK camps in northern Iraq on July 24 after a resurgence of militant attacks. State-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday that more than 260 militants had been killed, including senior PKK figures, and more than 400 wounded by August 1.

The violence has left a peace process with the PKK, begun in 2012, in tatters. Erdogan said last month the process had become impossible, although neither side has so far declared the negotiations definitively over.

 

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