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Turkish warplanes pounded positions of Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq after the car bombing attack in capital Ankara. Though the Syrian Kurdish group YPG denied responsibility for the explosion, Turkish authorities have placed the blame on Kurdish extremists.
Hours after the Ankara bombing, Turkish forces struck YPG, an offshoot of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) — an extremist group considered terrorists by Ankara — in northern Iraq. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has vowed the air strikes are only set to increase in the coming days.
The bomb blast which hit the heart of the Turkish capital killed 28 people and injured 61. Turkey holds the Kurdish militants "directly responsible" for the bombing, which targeted military personnel travelling on a bus.
"It has been determined with certainty that this attack was carried out by members of the separatist terror organization PKK, together with a member of the YPG who infiltrated from Syria," said the Turkish premier. At least 14 people have been arrested by Turkey's law enforcement agencies following the Ankara attack.
Echoing Davutoglu, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said: "Although the PKK and the PYD are denying it, the information from the interior ministry and intelligence show that they are behind [the attack]. This process will conduce our friends in the international community to understand how tight the PYD and YPG's connection to the PKK is."
The YPG, the militia which has the auspices of the US in the fight against the Islamic State (Isis) in the region, has been suspected of attempting to create an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria. The political wing of the Kurdish organisation has, nevertheless, denied any role in the Ankara bombing.
A statement from the group read: "Despite all the provocations and attacks by the Turkish army on the border of Rojava [Syrian Kurdish area] we have not responded and acted in a responsible manner. We have conducted no military attack and the ones who know it the best are the Turkish army and AKP government." The PKK has been engaged in a three-decade-long insurgency against Turkey.
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