Turkish Strike in Northern Iraq Kills at Least 8 Tourists, Officials Say

“It was chaos ­— tourists’ hands and legs were detached from their bodies,” said Ahmad Tahseen Ali, 30, from Babil Province, who said he was standing about 20 meters from one of the strikes, which wounded his brother and sister, Ban al-Humnrani, 42, who is a U.S. citizen and was visiting from Sacramento, Calif. “We are used to hearing sounds of war, but I have never seen a horrific scene like this,” said Ms. al-Humnrani, who suffered a leg wound.

The P.K.K. has been waging a separatist campaign against the Turkish government in Ankara since the 1970s. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people, most of them in Turkey. The P.K.K. is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and Europe.

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Ned Price, emphasized in a briefing that “military action in Iraq should respect Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The State Department, he said, would “continue to monitor the situation closely as additional information emerges.”

Many P.K.K. fighters and much of the group’s leadership take refuge in the mountains where the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey meet. While the fighting inside Turkey has diminished in ferocity, the Turkish military has continued to cross into Iraq to strike P.K.K. targets.

Iraqi leaders do not formally give sanctuary to P.K.K. fighters, but only rarely take action against them. In April, Turkey began an offensive, named Operation Claw Lock, in northern Iraq. Turkish officials typically invoke Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which recognizes a state’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defense” against attack, without seeking approval from the Iraqi government first.

“The Turkish side is carrying out continuous violations that are not based on any legal basis or agreement between the two countries,” Ahmed al-Sahaf, Iraq’s foreign minister, told the Iraqi News Agency in April.

The Turkish airstrikes came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey responded to criticism of his decision to launch a new military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria. In that case, Mr. Erdogan said the operation was part of an effort to keep Turkey’s border with Syria secure from Kurdish militants and to create a safe zone for some of the millions of Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war in their own country in recent years.

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