Up to 100 Kurdish rebels have been killed in six days of air strikes on northern Iraq, Turkey's military said yesterday.
The raids are the first by Turkey in the mountains of northern Iraq in more than a year and are in retaliation for an escalation of guerrilla attacks following the collapse of efforts to negotiate a settlement to the 27-year-old conflict.
In the town of Rania, in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, relatives of seven Iraqis, including children, killed in an air strike on Sunday – the first civilian casualties since the raids began last Wednesday – questioned the Turkish tactics.
The attacks have angered residents of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, a relatively safe haven in war-torn Iraq where Turkish investors have flocked in recent years to build homes, offices and shopping malls.
"They were just farmers. They didn't cause problems for anyone. I want to ask why they were killed," said one local, Yaqub Mustafa.
As the Honest Reporting blog notes,
Now imagine if Israel had also crossed over the territory of a sovereign state and killed 100 people, including a number of civilians.
Cue front page news, expressions of outrage, calls for a Goldstone-style UN inquiry. You get the picture.
But then, Israel is held to a different standard to other nations.
It's actually worse, because Iran has shelled civilian sections of Kurdistan as well.