18 PKK militants killed near Turkey’s Syrian border

18 PKK militants killed near Turkey’s Syrian border

18 PKK militants killed near Turkey’s Syrian border

AA photo

Eighteen outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, including two allegedly senior figures, have been killed near the border with Syria during an attempt to cross into Qamishli from Nusaybin in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin. 

Security sources said on April 18 that 18 militants were killed in clashes with Turkey’s security forces overnight when they tried to illegally cross the border into Syria from the Turkish border town of Nusaybin. 

Accordingly, security forces were conducting a sweep through the district when clashes broke out as militants tried to reach the nearby Syrian city of Qamishli, largely under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militia force of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey considers to be an offshoot of the PKK. 

Two M-16 infantry rifles, two pistols, 15 Kalashnikovs, three RPG-7 rocket launchers, a number of night vision glasses and a large amount of ammunition were seized by security forces in a search conducted in the area after the operation ended. 

A total of 263 PKK militants have been killed since security operations began with curfews imposed on March 14, the Mardin’s Governor’s Office announced on April 18. A total of 44 soldiers were killed in the same period, the statement added.

The Turkish General Staff said 13 other militants were killed across the southeastern provinces of Mardin, Şırnak and Hakkari on April 17. 

In a separate incident, one soldier was also reportedly killed on April 18 during clashes with PKK militants in Nusaybin during an operation in its Fatih neighborhood. The specialist corporal was injured and taken to the Nusaybin State Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

Clashes also erupted in the Seyhan district of the southern province of Adana, after three PKK militants staged an attack with automatic weapons on an armored police vehicle on patrol, Doğan News Agency reported on April 18. 

One PKK militant was killed and the other two escaped, while police began a search to apprehend the suspects, who fled the scene. 

Meanwhile, a Swedish court has ruled that an alleged senior figure of the PKK, who had been the subject of an international arrest warrant and caught in Stockholm, will be extradited to Germany within 15 days. 

The suspect, Zeki Eroğlu, had been the subject of a red notice by the German Federal Prosecution Office since 2014 for allegedly being one of the senior figures of the PKK in Germany between 2012 and 2014.

Eroğlu requested political asylum in Sweden, Anadolu Agency reported on April 17.

He was caught at Stockholm Arlanda Airport during a passport check as he was about to board a plane to Turkey and was later arrested.