( AFP ) - Turkish jets bombed northern Iraq on Sunday in the latest of a string of attacks on Kurdish rebels there, but caused no damage or casualties, an Iraqi Kurdish security spokesman said.
"Turkish warplanes bombed Karukh mountain north of Arbil ," said Jabbar Yawar , spokesman for the Kurdish militia which is responsible for security in northern Iraq.
He said the raid was carried out by three jets but "there was no damage or loss of life."
Turkish fighter jets first carried out reconnaissance in the Qandil mountains near the border with Turkey and Iran, before bombing certain positions, the Turkish Anatolia news agency cited Jabbar Yawar as saying.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Turkish military.
If confirmed, it would be the fourth Turkish military operation against the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the past week in northern Iraq, which Ankara says the rebels use as a springboard for attacks in Turkey.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and many other countries, has waged a bloody campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.
Turkey has been stepping up pressure since its parliament approved cross-border raids on PKK bases in October, with Ankara saying the Iraqi government and its US backers were not doing enough to halt attacks.
On December 16 the Turkish military said its aircraft attacked PKK positions in the Qandil mountains, where Turkey says thousands of rebels are holed up.
Two days later the Turkish army said troops penetrated into northern Iraq from the southeast Turkish province of Hakkari in an operation Iraqi officials said about 500 troops took part in.
A report by the Firat news agency, close to the PKK, cited the rebels as saying they had suffered no casualties in Saturday's raids.
Ankara has accused Iraqi Kurds, who run an autonomous administration in the north of the country, of tolerating and supporting the PKK.
Turkey, which has the second largest army in the NATO military alliance after the US with 515,000 troops, has moved around 100,000 soldiers up to its 380-kilometre (230-mile) border with Iraq.
The United States fears that Turkey could launch a major cross-border operation and destabilise the relatively peaceful northern part of Iraq.
After a flurry of diplomatic activity, Iraq promised to rein in the PKK and in November US President George W. Bush said Washington would provide Ankara with information on rebel movements from its satellites.
The president of Iraq's Kurdish region, Massud Barzani , refused to meet visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Baghdad on Tuesday in protest at US support for Turkey's strikes, a Kurdish official said.
Ankara has denied that civilians were hit on December 16, blaming reports of villages being bombed and hospitals and schools destroyed on PKK sympathisers among Iraqi officials seeking to mislead the international community.
The UN refugee agency has said around 1,800 people fled their homes in Sulaimaniyah and Arbil provinces in northern Iraq following the attacks.