In response to a bomb attack in Ankara claimed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Turkey unleashed airstrikes on militant targets in northern Iraq. The attack in Ankara occurred near government buildings, killing two attackers and injuring two police officers. The Defence Ministry reported that multiple militants were "neutralized" in airstrikes targeting 20 PKK locations in Iraq's Metina, Hakurk, Qandil, and Gara regions. Turkey, citing self-defense rights under Article 51 of the UN Charter, has intensified military action against the PKK in northern Iraq in recent years. The PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has been engaged in an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984, resulting in over 40,000 deaths.
Iraqi President Abdul-Latif Rashid expressed Iraq's rejection of repeated Turkish airstrikes and the presence of Turkish bases in the Kurdistan region, hoping for an agreement to resolve the issue. CCTV footage showed a vehicle exploding near the interior ministry in Ankara, prompting counterterrorism police raids leading to the detention of 20 suspects, including a provincial Kurdish spokesman and district heads of a pro-Kurdish political party.
While condemning the attack, the US urged Turkey to pursue joint counterterrorism cooperation with Iraq respecting Iraqi sovereignty. Turkey's military operations in northern Iraq and Syria against Kurdish militants have escalated in recent years. President Erdogan affirmed Turkey's commitment to a "security strip" along its southern borders, emphasizing "new steps" in this direction were imminent.