PM says Turkish artillery hit IS positions in Iraq, Syria

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish tanks and artillery have attacked Islamic State group positions in Iraq and in Syria in retaliation for the suicide bombing in Istanbul which killed 10 tourists, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.

See Full Article

Close to 200 extremists were "rendered ineffective" -- the government's term for "killed" -- in the offensive in the past 48 hours, Davutoglu said. It was unclear how Turkey verified the number of dead or their membership in the extremist group.

He spoke a day after Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb at a police station in southeastern Turkey, then attacked it with rocket launchers and firearms. Six people were killed including civilians, officials said. It was a further sign of the deteriorating security situation as the country grapples with both the Islamic extremists and the rebels who have intensified attacks in the country.

Davutoglu, speaking in Ankara, said the military targeted some 500 extremist positions along the border with Syria and near a Turkish camp in northern Iraq. He did not rule out possible air strikes against the group, although a day earlier, he said Russia was obstructing Turkey's ability to conduct airstrikes against the IS in Syria.

The Turkish leader said Ankara decided to hit the IS group as soon as it had determined that it was responsible for the "heinous" bombing at Istanbul's main tourist district, just steps away from the landmark Blue Mosque. All the victims were German tourists.

"Turkey will continue to punish with even greater force any threat that is directed against Turkey or its guests," Davutoglu said. "We will press ahead with our determined struggle until the Daesh (IS) terrorist organization leaves Turkey's borders ... and until it loses its ability to continue with its acts that soil our sacred religion, Islam."

The Kurdish rebel attack late Wednesday targeted the police station in the town of Cinar, in the mostly Kurdish Diyarbakir province, and police lodgings located at the building, the Diyarbakir governor's office said.

The force of the blast caused a house near the police station to collapse. The private Dogan news agency said the dead included the wife of a policeman and a 5-months-old baby who were killed at the police lodgings and two children who died in the collapsed house.

Another police station was attacked with rocket launchers in Midyat town, in the province of Mardin in what appeared to be a simultaneous assault, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. No casualties were reported there.

The explosion caused extensive damage, affecting buildings two or three blocks away from the police station. Windows were blown off and shop shutters were folded in from the force of the blast.

The governor's office said the security forces responded to the attack, but it was not clear if there were any casualties among the rebels.

"We were sleeping and woke up thinking it was an earthquake," Shafee Dagli, a Cinar resident told The Associated Press. "Then the clashes started. They lasted for about 2 1/2 hours, from 11.30 p.m. to 2 a.m."

Hediye 0zaltay, mother of five living behind the police station said: "We were so frightened. We were awake watching TV. All these fragments blew into our yard from the blast. At first we thought there was an earthquake then I looked at the police station and saw fire."

The attack came a day after the suicide bomber set off the explosion in Istanbul. Turkish officials say the bomber, a Syrian born in 1988, was affiliated with the Islamic State group. Interior Minister Efkan Ala said seven people have been detained in connection to the bombing.

Hundreds of people gathered at the site of that attack on Thursday, to lay flowers and hold a minute of silence.

The conflict between the government forces and the PKK has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984. The group is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its western allies.

On Thursday, mourners at Cinar buried three of the dead -- Lokman Acikgoz, who owned a local shop, and his two sons.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Defeated Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh made off with government money, luxury cars

    World News CBC News
    Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president said Sunday. Source
  • Yes, size matters

    World News Toronto Sun
    Fun with numbers: A Mexican dude claims he possesses an 18.9-inch member, a world record. Bad news is, it chafes. Good news is, he’ll be able to pole-vault over Donald Trump’s wall. More fun with numbers: Trump says his inaugural crowd was HUGE, biggest ever, and he’s ticked that American mainstream media are cheating him out of a record. Source
  • Northern Ireland officer injured in drive-by shooting

    World News CTV News
    A road sweeper van passes Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) Source
  • Toronto's Humber College to stay open as mystery illness makes 215 sick

    Canada News CBC News
    Humber College officials say the school isn't closing its doors as Toronto Public Health races to determine the cause of a mystery illness that swept through a residence, making approximately 215 people sick. "The campus will be open tomorrow and will be in full operations," the college's Dean of Students Jen McMillen told reporters Sunday ahead of the school week. Source
  • Convicted killer asks court to stay his manslaughter charge for delay

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Sam Tsega was the inside man, the Ottawa link between three killers from Toronto and a Barrhaven teenager who was executed with a bullet to the heart. But now, more than six years after Tsega first set foot in an Ottawa courtroom — and more than six months after being found guilty of manslaughter for his role in the killing of Michael Swan — he is asking the court to stay his conviction and release him from jail because of unnecessary delay. Source
  • Parents of refugee boy who looked annoyed at Trudeau town hall say PM is 'hero'

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- A photo of a boy looking exasperated while sitting behind the prime minister has been making the rounds on social media, even giving Justin Trudeau a laugh, but the boy's family wants to set the record straight about the circumstances. Source
  • 'Experienced' backcountry skier killed in B.C. avalanche was from Alaska: police

    Canada News CBC News
    Police have identified the victim killed in an avalanche near Nelson, B.C. Saturday as a 32-year-old woman from Anchorage, Alaska. The avalanche was triggered when the woman was backcountry skiing with two others near Qua Peak in Ymir, about 20 minutes south of Nelson, according to a release from Kootenay Boundary Regional District RCMP. Source
  • Man found dead following explosion in tent

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SQUAMISH, B.C. — Police in Squamish, B.C., say a man has been found dead after an apparent explosion in a tent. RCMP say a resident was walking home Saturday night and spotted a fire in a brush area, then heard an explosion and called emergency responders. Source
  • Man found dead following explosion in tent near Squamish, B.C.: RCMP

    Canada News CTV News
    SQUAMISH, B.C. - Police in Squamish, B.C., say a man has been found dead after an apparent explosion in a tent. RCMP say a resident was walking home Saturday night and spotted a fire in a brush area, then heard an explosion and called emergency responders. Source
  • More tornadoes ahead as death toll reaches 15 in southeast U.S.

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATLANTA — A weekend of deadly weather in the Southeast killed 15 people and injured dozens more, authorities said Sunday, while residents along the Georgia-Florida line were bracing for more intense, fast-moving storms — including unusually strong “long track” twisters. Source