(Bloomberg) -- Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militants in Iraq shortly after the group staged a terror attack in Turkey’s capital on Sunday, the first such bombing since 2016.
Turkish jets hit bases used by the militant group PKK, after its members attacked the main interior ministry building in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.
Turkish Interior Ministry Hit by Bomb Attack Claimed by PKK
The weekend’s events are likely to complicate Sweden’s bid to be a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Turkey has long expressed frustration with what it says is unchecked PKK activity in Sweden and held up the Nordic nation’s application to be a NATO member. The bombing attack came a day after protests against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sweden’s capital, drawing condemnation from Ankara, which said the protesters were PKK supporters.
Why Turkey Is Still Blocking Sweden’s NATO Accession: QuickTake
The militant group, listed as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, claimed responsibility for the bombing that injured two police officers just hours before Turkish lawmakers were scheduled to inaugurate the new legislative year at the parliament building nearby. NATO allies were expecting Turkish legislators to vote on Sweden’s membership this month.
The PKK, which stands for Kurdistan Workers’ Party, has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast since 1984 in a fight that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. Turkey often carries out attacks against the group’s hideouts in neighboring Iraq, and has called on NATO allies including the US to distance themselves from the militant group’s Syrian offshoots.
--With assistance from Firat Kozok.
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