After bombarding the area with airplanes and artillery, Turkish forces entered northern Iraq, ostensibly in search of Kurdish rebels. It isn’t the first time Turkey has crossed the border, but one source described the force as much bigger—roughly 10,000 men—than previous incursions. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, however, said he believed only a few hundred Turkish troops were involved in the operation.
The Turkish army, which has thousands of soldiers on the border, said troops had entered the north on Thursday evening and were pursuing rebels.
It promised the force would “return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved”.
An air and artillery campaign preceded the land operation, the military added.
An unconfirmed report by Turkish TV channel NTV says 10,000 soldiers have crossed the border, Reuters news agency reports.