Turkish artillery hit Islamic State positions in Iraq, Syria: PM

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 extremist positions along the border with Syria and near a Turkish camp in northern Iraq with close to 500 strikes. He did not rule out possible airstrikes 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 in 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 with 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.

------

Dominique Soguel reported from Cinar, Turkey.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Forces seek to oust 77 members for sexual misconduct

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Military officials say they have moved this year to force out 77 service members found guilty of sexual misconduct. Many of the cases are older and none of the members have been released yet, as their files go through what the military says is due process. Source
  • Trump: ‘I thought it would be easier’ [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is sounding wistful as he reflects on his first 100 days on the job. The president says he “loved” his “previous life. I had so many things going.” He says his new gig is “more work than in my previous life. Source
  • Mystery deaths in Liberia linked to funeral: WHO

    World News CBC News
    In March 2015, health workers carry a body of a person that they suspected died form the Ebola virus at a new graveyard on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberian health authorities are investigating after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. Source
  • Trump on his new gig: 'I thought it would be easier'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump is sounding wistful as he reflects on his first 100 days on the job. The president says he "loved" his "previous life. I had so many things going. Source
  • U.S. Secretary of state chairs UN meeting on North Korea problem LIVE

    World News CBC News
    THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY Trump's first 100 days, as seen through his Twitter account Source
  • Israel plans 15,000 more settlement homes in East Jerusalem

    World News CBC News
    Israel intends to build 15,000 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem, the Housing Ministry said on Friday despite U.S. President Donald Trump's request to "hold back" on settlements as part of a possible new push for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Source
  • Florida high school teachers accused of oral sex with teen student in classrooms

    World News Toronto Sun
    A pair of high school teachers in Orlando probably didn’t know they were committing sex crimes with the same student. That’s what a 17-year-old girl told police in Florida after Chad Michael Coy, 27, and Ryan Stewart Kirkpatrick, 22, were arrested this week following a months-long investigation and charged with committing unlawful sexual acts with a minor and sexual offences against a student at Ocoee High School. Source
  • Court delays can’t be solved with money, personnel alone: defence attorney

    Canada News CTV News
    Justice ministers searching for ways to speed up Canada’s court system and avoid cases being thrown out because of unreasonable delays aren’t looking in the right places, says a noted criminal defence attorney. Federal and provincial justice ministers are meeting Friday in Gatineau, Que. Source
  • Canada's economy didn't grow in February, StatsCan data shows

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's economy didn't expand in February, as a slight uptick in the service sector was offset by a small decline in the goods-producing sector. Statistics Canada reported Friday that the construction, real estate, finance and insurance sectors continued to expand, but manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction all declined. Source
  • Man fatally beats pregnant wife with pipe wrench: police

    World News CTV News
    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Police say a 48-year-old Florida man used a pipe wrench to beat his pregnant wife to death in front of their four children after an argument over whether the baby was his. Source