Turkish jets strike Kurdish rebels after diplomat's death

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Turkish jets strike Kurdish rebels after diplomat's death
Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, right, speaks with army's top commanders during the funeral prayers of Osman Kose, a 38-year-old Turkish diplomat killed in Iraq, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, July 18, 2019. A gunman opened fire inside a restaurant in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on Wednesday, killing a Turkish diplomat working at Ankara's consulate, Turkey's state-run news agency and Iraqi media said.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s defense minister says the military launched aerial strikes against Kurdish rebel targets in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, following the killing of a Turkish diplomat there.

The state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Hulusi Akar as saying jets struck the Qandil region on Thursday, where Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, leaders are reportedly based. A Defense Ministry statement said airstrikes were also conducted Friday against Iraq’s Karajak region.

On Wednesday, an employee of the Turkish Consulate in the city of Idlib was killed along with an Iraqi national in a gun attack at a restaurant.

Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish region is politically allied with the Turkish government, but PKK militants, who have fought a decades-long insurgency against Ankara, operate in parts of the territory. Turkey labels the group a terrorist organization.