Turkey air force F-16 jet
Reuters/Umit Bektas

The Turkish military has refuted allegations over civilian casualties in northern Iraq during the army offensive against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) extremists.

Fighting has escalated after Ankara began pounding the PKK targets alongside attacks on Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria.

According to the local media, during the airstrikes, many civilians were killed after the village of Zargala, located on the outskirts of Kandhil Mountains, was raided.

Responding to the developments, the army said in a statement: "The allegations in the press have been reassessed; it has been determined that the hit target was not a village but in fact a sheltering area for terrorists who are members of a separatist terrorist organisation."

"The targets in northern Iraq and inside Turkey are being identified by qualified personnel, based on confirmed visual data and as a result of a very meticulous and detailed study."

"There was no civilian residential area in and around the impact range of 'the bombardment'."

The Turkish foreign ministry had earlier pledged to launch an independent investigation into the matter. The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) has also nominated a delegation to visit the town in order to study the situation.

The Turkish military's remarks have come in the wake of an earlier suicide bombing attack against the army positions by PKK extremists.

The blast in Agri province killed three soldiers and left several others injured. The attack has also forced Iraq's Kurdistan provincial government to exhort the PKK to pull out from its territory so as not to jeopardise the lives of civilians in the region.