Turkey attacked Kurdish militants in northern Syria and Iraq with a series of airstrikes on Sunday, days after a bomb attack killed six people in Istanbul.
Military bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the Syrian People’s Protection Units, or YPG, were targeted in the attacks, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
“Shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels and warehouses belonging to terrorists were destroyed with great success,” Akar said. “The so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization was also attacked and destroyed with direct hits.”
Turkish authorities blamed the PKK and YPG for the bombing in Istanbul, which killed six people and injured dozens more last Sunday. Both groups have denied their involvement.
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The spokesman for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin, tweeted that “the time for Istiklal has come,” referring to the avenue where the attack took place.
Bulgarian prosecutors arrested five people involved in the attack: three men of Moldovan origin, as well as a man and a woman of Syrian Kurdish descent, according to Reuters.
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The PKK, which has been fighting an insurgency in Turkey since 1984, is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States, although the United States has allied with the YPG in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
“We are determined, determined and capable of saving our country and our nation from the scourge of terror that has plagued our country and our nation for 40 years,” Akar said on Sunday.
Associated Press contributed to this report.