The Turkish vice consul to Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead on Wednesday in the local capital Erbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a "terrorist" group, was behind the attack.
"Following the evil attack in Erbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organisation," Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as "armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists" were destroyed.
"Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralised and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged," he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an armed rebellion against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK's armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday's deadly shooting.
A brazen daylight assassination raid by unknown attackers on a restaurant in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil has left at least one Turkish diplomat dead and two others injured. "They were shot at point blank range by unknown assailants," one eyewitness described of the afternoon attack which local security sources described as a "serious" and developing situation.
Syria’s Government is fighting hard against jihadist forces in Idlib who meet Turkey’s standard of being ‘moderate rebels’ against Syria’s Government, but unless Russian forces there — which were invited in by Syria’s Government, instead of being invaders there like Turkey and the United States are — will commit far more forces for the defense of Syria (which seems increasingly unlikely), Turkey will win Idlib as being a part of Turkey.
First shipment of Russian S-400 missile defence system hardware to Ankara started today, Turkey’s National Defence Ministry said. “First batch of equipment of S-400 missile defence system, which is procured to meet Turkey’s air and missile defence need, has started to arrive at Murted Air Base in Ankara as of July 12, 2019,” the ministry said on Twitter.
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