Details of army operations unfold as curfew ‘reduced’ in Cizre
AFP photoHundreds of explosives have been deactivated and hundreds of barricades and trenches removed during a blanket curfew in the southeastern Turkish town of Cizre that came into effect for military operations targeting militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to official sources.
Elaborating on military operations targeting PKK militants in Cizre, a district in the southeastern province of Şırnak, Şırnak Governor Ali İhsan Su said 708 barricades and 263 trenches had been removed, and 1,409 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been deactivated in the southeastern town during the 78-day round-the-clock curfew.
“The operations conducted during the curfew were all done with success... Some 708 barricades and 263 trenches have been removed and 1,409 improvised explosive devices have been deactivated during these operations,” Su told a press conference in the Şırnak Governor’s Office on March 2.
Turkey has recently stepped up efforts in fighting militancy in its southeast specifically with ground operations that target PKK militants. Local administrations have imposed curfews on towns to be “cleared of terrorists,” in order to prevent civilian casualties during clashes between security forces and militants.
The blanket curfew in Cizre has been in place for more than two months to conduct military raids on homes and shelters allegedly used by militants. The curfew, which came into effect on Dec. 14, 2015, was limited to half-days starting from March 2. The Şırnak Governor’s Office said in a written statement on March 1 that the blanket curfew in Cizre was to be lifted partially but would continue between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Several southeastern towns like Sur, a district in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, and Silopi, a district in Şırnak, have seen months-long curfews, subjecting local residents to power blackouts, food and water shortages and destroyed neighborhoods. Fierce clashes between PKK militants and security forces have also halted education and health services in the towns placed under curfew.
“Ambulances and medical staff stepped in for 3,438 cases, except those which could not be reached because of terror-related reasons. Some 16,168 patients have been treated in emergency services and a total of 285 births have been given in this period,” Su said, reporting on health services provided during the curfew in Cizre.