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ISTANBUL: Turkey conducted overnight air strikes on nearly 30 “terrorist targets” in northern Iraq and Syria after nine of its soldiers were killed in a military base in Iraq, the defence ministry said Saturday.

“Air operations were carried out on terrorist targets in the regions of Metina, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish soldiers were killed during clashes that followed an attempted intrusion at the base near the northern Iraqi city of Metina, the ministry said, revising upward a previous toll of five.

The ministry said the strikes had targeted 29 locations including “caves, bunkers, shelters and oil installations” belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG (People’s Protection Units), a Syrian Kurdish militia which is a central element of US-allied forces in a coalition against Islamic State.

Ankara has operated several dozen military posts in the area for the past 25 years in its decades-old war against the PKK, a group blacklisted by Turkey and many of its Western allies as a terrorist organisation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was due to hold an emergency security meeting Saturday in Istanbul to discuss the uptick in attacks on troops in the region.

Meanwhile, 113 people were arrested for suspected links with the PKK in nationwide raids on Saturday, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X, formerly Twitter.

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