Turkey conducted air strikes against Kurdish militant bases in northern Iraq and Syria, the Turkish defense ministry announced early Sunday, a week after an explosion in Istanbul that killed six people and injured more than 80 others.
The targets were bases that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia were using to launch terrorist attacks on Turkey, the ministry said.
“Our aim is to ensure the security of our 85 million citizens and our borders, and to retaliate for any treacherous attack on our country,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Ankara blames the PKK for the Istanbul blast, a charge the outlawed group has denied. In recent days, nearly two dozen people have been arrested in connection with the bombing, including five in Bulgaria on Saturday, according to Reuters.