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Turkey Targets Kurdish Militants With Air Strikes in Alleged Retaliation Against Istanbul Attack

The Erdogan government has blamed Kurdish militants for the blast on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue on November 13 that killed six people and injured more than 80.

Istanbul: The Turkish defence ministry said early on Sunday it carried out air strikes on outlawed Kurdish militant bases in northern Syria and northern Iraq, which it said were used to carry out attacks on Turkey.

The strikes targeted bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey says is a wing of the PKK, the ministry added in a statement.

Turkey said on Tuesday it plans to pursue targets in northern Syria after it completes a cross-border operation against the PKK militants in Iraq, following a deadly bomb last weekend in Istanbul.

The government has blamed Kurdish militants for the blast on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue on November 13 that killed six people and injured more than 80. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast on the busy pedestrian avenue, and the PKK and SDF have denied involvement.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said late Saturday that Turkish aircraft shelled two villages populated with internally displaced people in northern Syria.

Turkey has conducted three incursions so far into northern Syria against the YPG militia. President Tayyip Erdogan has previously said Turkey could conduct another operation against the YPG.