Turkish fighter jets are involved in a campaign targeting terrorist organizations Daesh (a.k.a ISIS or IS) and the PKK beyond the country’s borders, sources from the Prime Ministry said Friday night.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is holding a late-hour high-level meeting on the campaign against terrorist groups.
Earlier, Turkish military sources said fighter jets have taken off from southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakir province towards northern part of Iraq, but shied from giving any details about the intended targets.
On Friday morning, Turkish F-16 fighter jets hit three Daesh targets in Syria. The jets carried out the operation “without violating the Syrian airspace”, the Prime Ministry said in a statement.
Turkey has stepped up efforts against Daesh since a suicide attack on Monday allegedly carried out by the group killed 32 people in southeastern Sanliurfa province.
Two policemen were killed in retaliation on Wednesday. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for that attack.
On Thursday, gunfire from Syria killed a Turkish military officer and injured two troops in southern Kilis province, prompting Turkish forces to return fire.
Since the early hours of Friday, a total of 297 suspects, including at least 37 foreigners, have been detained across Turkey in a nationwide anti-terrorism operation. Many of those detained are thought to be linked to groups like Daesh, the PKK and its youth wing, the DHKP-C.
And late Friday, Police have been targeted in two southeastern Turkish provinces, leaving at least 10 policemen injured in explosives attacks and one officer kidnapped late Friday, officials said.
On Friday evening, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition can deploy its manned and unmanned aerial vehicles at bases inside Turkey.
Turkish Air Forces would also take part in coalition airstrikes against the terrorist group, the ministry said in a statement.