F-4E/2020 Phantom II Terminator at Konya airbase, June 2014
An F-4E/2020 Phantom II Terminator at Konya airbase, June 2014 Wikipedia

Turkish F-16 and F-4 jets have bombed Kurdish rebel targets in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, causing “heavy casualties,” Turkish media reported Tuesday. The raid on the PKK fighters breaks a cease-fire between the two sides and is the first major attack since March 2013.

The attack comes as Turkey has refused to become involved in fighting between Kurdish rebels and Islamic State group forces in the Syrian border town of Kobani.

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet first reported air raids near the southeastern town of Daglica on Monday, but other papers also reported clashes in the Tunceli area of east-central Turkey, hundreds of miles from the border.

The Turkish government said it attacked Kurdish positions in response to a sustained attack on its military outposts over three days.

Al Jazeera’s Ben Smith, reporting from Urfa near the Turkish border with Syria, said the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, was to issue a statement on Wednesday indicating how the group would respond.

"The back story is that last week the acting leader of the PKK said that effectively the two-year peace process with Turkey was over because of the Turkish military buildup along the Iraq and Syria border," Smith said. "And it is over because the Turkish government has resorted to heavy-handed tactics in cracking down on Kurdish protesters."