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Turkish warplanes began bombing Kurdish rebels in Iraq Monday, the BBC reports. As many as 160 people were killed on the rebel bases in northern Iraq; the attacks follow assaults by the Kurdistan Workers' Party on Turkey's armed forces. Turkey says the goal is to make the rebels "rendered ineffective."
This is not the first bombing of northern Iraq this month. Reuters
reports that seven Iraqi civilians were killed by Turkish bombs August 21. Riot police used tear gas to control protests against the airstrikes in Istanbul. (Above, a female demonstrator is detained.) The Economist
explains that the bombings are an ominous reminder of the 1990s, when about 3,000 Kurdish villages in Turkey were destroyed as Turkey cracked down on separatists. And although Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged "mistakes" on how the Kurds have been treated in the past and pushed through several reform measures, recent attacks from the rebels have caused peace talks to collapse.
Iran, too, has bombed border areas in the Kurdish part of Iraq, and Nechirvan Barzani, deputy head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, has called on
rebels to make peace so innocent civilians don't have to live in fear of airstrikes from their neighbors.
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is the former politics editor for The Wire