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Turkey launches air assault on Kurds in Iraq

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Turkey attacks Iraqi KurdsThe Turkish military launched an air assault on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq overnight Wednesday, hitting 60 targets by plane and another 168 with artillery from across the border.

The assault was a response to the killing of nine Turkish soldiers in southeastern Turkey Wednesday by Kurdish separatists and targeted a region "frequented" by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which has fought for autonomy in southeastern Turkey for decades, The New York Times reports. Both Turkey and the US have the PKK listed as a terrorist organization.

The PKK operates from hideouts in the mountainous border region between Iraq and Turkey. Turkish military planes last bombed inside Iraq in the summer of 2010, according to the Times.

Wednesday's ambush against the Turkish soldiers was the deadliest attack on the military since a campaign against the Kurdish autonomy movement began in July. That crackdown was prompted by an attack on the Turkish military on July 13, which killed 30.

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