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

  • Malaysia to charge 2 women with murder in death of Kim Jong-nam

    World News CBC News
    Malaysian prosecutors will charge two women — Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam — with murder over their alleged involvement in the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, the Southeast Asian country's attorney general said on Tuesday. Source
  • Spring is coming, but winter has 'a little bit of bite left': forecaster

    Canada News CTV News
    Despite unusually warm temperatures in parts of the country, a forecaster says bouts of late winter weather are expected for many through March, with more springlike temperatures to arrive by May. Chris Scott says The Weather Network spring forecast calls for Canadians to expect more storms before the wintry weather ends. Source
  • B.C. picks new head of treaty commission

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- The provincial government has picked a lawyer known for her work with the Musqueam First Nation to head the B.C. Treaty Commission. The provincial cabinet picked Celeste Haldane on Feb. 22, but the federal government must still approve the appointment. Source
  • 4 killed as plane crashes into homes in Southern California

    World News CBC News
    Four people died and two were injured when a small plane carrying a family returning from a cheerleading competition crashed into two homes in Riverside, Calif., and sparked a major fire Monday, authorities said. A husband, wife and three teenagers were on the plane that had just taken off from Riverside Municipal Airport at 4:40 p.m. Source
  • 3 killed as small plane crashes into homes in Southern California

    World News CBC News
    Four people died and two were injured when a small plane carrying a family returning from a cheerleading competition crashed into two homes in Riverside, Calif., and sparked a major fire Monday, authorities said. A husband, wife and three teenagers were on the plane that had just taken off from Riverside Municipal Airport at 4:40 p.m. Source
  • U.S. attorney general condemns latest wave of anti-Semitic vandalism, threats

    World News CBC News
    Jewish centres and schools across the nation coped with another wave of bomb threats Monday as officials in Philadelphia made plans to repair and restore hundreds of vandalized headstones at a Jewish cemetery. Jewish Community Centers and day schools in at least a dozen states received threats, according to the JCC Association of North America. Source
  • Small plane crashes into 2 homes in California [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A small plane crashed into two homes in Riverside Monday evening shortly after taking off from a nearby airport, leaving fiery wreckage that nearly destroyed one of the homes, officials said. The Cessna 310 aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Riverside Municipal Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Source
  • 'We need an independent media': George W. Bush says press not enemy

    World News CBC News
    Former President George W. Bush said Monday "we all need answers" on the extent of contact between President Donald Trump's team and the Russian government, and didn't rule out the idea that a special prosecutor could be necessary to lead an investigation. Source
  • Taiwan marks crackdown anniversary amid tensions with China

    World News CTV News
    TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan is marking the 70th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters that is widely seen as a rejection of China's claims to the self-governing island democracy. The protests that began on Feb. Source
  • Security heightened before Trump sons' visit to Vancouver

    Canada News CBC News
    The Trump Tower luxury hotel with giant uppercase chrome letters across the front has already become a magnet for protesters in Vancouver, and now, as the hotel officially opens, a visit from the polarizing U.S. president's sons is sparking renewed attention. Source