8 PKK, PYD militants preparing for ‘sensational attack’ caught in Turkey’s Gaziantep

8 PKK, PYD militants preparing for ‘sensational attack’ caught in Turkey’s Gaziantep

8 PKK, PYD militants preparing for ‘sensational attack’ caught in Turkey’s Gaziantep Turkish police and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) caught eight militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), who were preparing for a “sensational action” in the country, in the southeastern province of Gaziantep in a joint operation on June 30, Doğan News Agency has reported. 

After they were nabbed, the militants, including two of Syrian origin, reportedly led the security personnel to some places where they hid 146 kilograms of explosives to be used in their “action” as well as money and gold worth 862,000 Turkish Liras (about $245,000). 

Meanwhile, Turkish jets hit PKK targets in the southeastern province of Siirt early on June 30, “neutralizing” nine militants, the military said in a statement. 

Two bunkers and another armed position was also destroyed, it said. 

Authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured.      

Separately, Turkish warplanes on June 29 conducted an air operation against PKK militants in northern Iraq, “neutralizing” seven of them, the army said. 

The General Staff said in a statement that its warplanes conducted an air operation against PKK militants who had been preparing attacks on Turkish border posts.

In a separate operation on June 29, Turkish jets also conducted air strikes on the Avasin Keri Mountain region of northern Iraq and the southeastern province of Hakkari, killing three PKK militants, it said.        

In a separate weekly notification report released on June 30, the General Staff said a total of 60 PKK militants were “neutralized” over the last week in anti-terror operations in Turkey’s southeastern region, indicating that the PKK “was on the hook.” The statement also noted some nine soldiers were killed and eight were injured in the operations. 

“Between June 22-29, the operations launched especially in the provinces of Hakkari, Şırnak, Diyarbakır and Siirt [in southeastern Turkey], which are of vital importance as the separatist terrorist organization [PKK] uses them as accommodation places and passage routes into other parts of Turkey, in order to clean them from the terrorists and limit their preparations for the upcoming period. They have continued non-stop,” the military statement said. 

The statement also touched upon the ammunition and weapons seized during the operations. “Four machine guns, 24 infantry rifles, 3 rocket launchers, 1 sniper rifle, 3 pistols, 1 shotgun and 50 hand grenades were seized, and 17 improvised explosive devices [IED] was located and then destroyed, 1 kilogram of C-4 explosive, 10 gas tubes, 1 mortar ammunition of 81 mm in size, 638 rocket launcher ammunitions, 634 rocket launcher propelling cartridge, 1,560 AK-57 infantry rifles, 2,900 small arms ammunition as well as cables and fuses in large amounts used in the making of IEDs have been seized,” it said. 

Meanwhile, authorities on June 30 announced that two of the three PKK militants who were killed in an operation in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Lice district a day before were sought militants of the group, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency released some photographs showing commandoes receiving an 11-week-long training in a military course in the southwestern province of Isparta.

Privates recruited into the army under a contract first receive a 3-week-long basic training and then enroll in the commando training at this school. The soldiers, who are then appointed to southeastern provinces where clashes with the PKK are the most severe, are trained on how to combat militants and annihilate hand-made explosives.