ISTANBUL - Turkey on Monday said it has launched a new air and ground offensive against outlawed Kurdish militants in northern Iraq involving special forces and combat drones. Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said commando units, unmanned aerial vehicles and attack helicopters were pounding Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) hideouts in three restive regions near the Turkish border. Designated as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies, the PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.