ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish warplanes hit eight suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq yesterday, the third cross-border air assault in 10 days, Turkey's military said.

The warplanes struck in an "effective pinpoint operation" targeting eight caves and other hideouts being used by the separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site.

No rebel deaths were immediately reported.

On Tuesday, Turkey's military claimed that more than 200 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq have been hit since Dec. 16, killing hundreds of rebels.

Yesterday's strikes were the third aerial operation confirmed by the military since Dec. 16. The military also sent ground troops to hunt down the rebels on Dec. 18.

The PKK has waged a war for autonomy in parts of Turkey for more than two decades. *