Military operations to expand to İdil, Nusaybin, minister says
AA photoWhile military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are coming to an end in the southeastern town of Cizre, they will be intensified in the region’s İdil and Nusaybin districts, according to Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala.
Responding to a question on whether the Education Ministry’s invitation to 1,200 teachers in İdil to come to a seminar in Istanbul via text message was a sign the operations would expand to İdil in southeastern Şırnak province, the minister said they would clear all barricades and ditches in the district.
“These clearings will be done. There are [terrorists in İdil], as well. The operations will not take place only if the terrorists lay down their arms and fill the ditches,” he said while speaking to reporters late Feb. 9. Ala also said they would intensify the operations in the Nusaybin district in southeastern Mardin province.
Meanwhile, Ala said the operations held in Şırnak’s Cizre district were nearing completion. The operations in the Sur district of southeastern Diyarbakır province would continue for a while, he also added.
The minister’s remarks came on the same day daily Hürriyet reported security forces were expected to expand the scope of ongoing anti-terror operations in Southeastern Anatolia by including İdil, Nusaybin and the Yüksekova district of Hakkari.
Jointly carried out by the military and police, the operations were first launched in the Sur, Cizre and Silopi districts of Şırnak in mid-December 2015, as the fight against the PKK turned urban. Security officials and government members have said the operations in Silopi and Sur were to conclude soon, while efforts to “clear Cizre of terrorists” would continue.
Security officials told Hürriyet that İdil would be the first venue in its continuing anti-PKK campaign, to be followed by Nusaybin and Yüksekova. If need be, the town of Şırnak would also be included in the zone of operations, they said.
The first sign that İdil would be the next district to be “cleared” was given when the Education Ministry invited the district’s 1,200 teachers to come to a seminar in Istanbul via text message, the same as was done in Silopi, Sur and Cizre before curfews were announced and operations were launched.