711 militants killed in southeastern Turkey since mid-December
Turkey has killed 711 militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast since early December last year, the Turkish military has claimed amid the death of a specially trained Turkish commando in clashes with the militant group.
The Turkish General Staff (TSK) said in a written statement on Jan. 24 that 446 PKK militants in Cizre, another 145 in Silopi and 120 others in Sur, have been killed during military operations targeting the outlawed group since early December, according to Doğan News Agency.
Cizre and Silopi, two districts in the southeastern province of Şırnak, as well as Sur, a district in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, have been experiencing round-the-clock or partial curfews since mid-December last year.
Meanwhile, a “maroon beret” soldier was killed in clashes during an operation that targeted PKK militants in Cizre, about a month after Turkey deployed specially trained Turkish commandos in the southeastern town under curfew since Dec. 14 last year.
The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that the clashes took place in Cizre’s Dağkapı neighborhood on Jan. 23 during an operation against the outlawed organization.
The soldier, identified as First Lt. Uğur Taşçı, was heavily wounded in the attack.
“Our comrade in arms succumbed to his wounds at 4:20 p.m. at the hospital where he was being treated,” the Turkish General Staff announced in a statement.
Meanwhile, seven PKK militants were also killed during clashes, the statement added.
As a maroon beret commando, Taşçı served as part of specially trained military forces that were deployed in Cizre late December 2015.
Turkey has beefed up efforts in fighting the insurgency in the southeast, with aerial campaigns and ground operations targeting militants from the PKK. Local governors have imposed curfews in several towns in the country’s east and southeast to remove militants from the area.
Around 200 maroon berets were deployed in the country’s east and southeast where Turkey has beefed up operations targeting the PKK in response to declarations of self-autonomy.