Major operation against PKK near Iraq, Iran border

Major operation against PKK near Iraq, Iran border

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Two Turkish soldiers were killed and ten were wounded in a continuing military operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) July 29 in the southeastern province of Hakkari’s Şemdinli district, on Turkey’s borders with Iran and Iraq.

The Turkish Army continued to dispatch forces to the region yesterday, including 30 armored vehicles accompanied by signal interceptors, according to reports. Thousands of soldiers as well as tanks, military buses, and Sikorsky and Cobra helicopters were also directed to the area, sources said.

The Hakkari Governor’s Office issued a press release yesterday morning saying nearly 10,000 Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) soldiers repelled the militants in the ongoing air and land clashes.

Rahmi Kurt, Hakkari provincial head of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said he had witnessed intense clashes between the PKK and Turkish soldiers in the city center.

“This is the sixth day of clashes; we cannot enter the villages because the military controls the roads. In the city center, observable clashes are going on,” Kurt told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday over the phone.

The Ministry of Defense, Interior Ministry and Hakkari Governor’s Office refused to respond to Hürriyet Daily News’ questions about the clashes.

“Fifteen Turkish soldiers were killed during the clashes on Goman Mountain yesterday morning … PKK militants have taken control of some villages,” said Fırat News Agency, known for its links to the PKK.

A military funeral was held for specialist sergeants, Yasin Bayraktar and Enis Yücel, yesterday as operations continued against nearly 100 PKK militants who reportedly crossed the Iraqi border with heavy weapons and reached Şemdinli city center on the night of July 29.

Specialized Sgt. Mehmet Kaya and Private Adnan Öztürk were also killed in an accident when their military vehicle spun out of control for unknown reasons on the road between Silopi and Cizre while they were conducting a patrol the previous day.

The operation began July 25, when alleged members of the PKK blockaded a road in the district to propagandize for their activities. The air and land operations followed reports that an allegedly armed group of PKK members were active in the mountainous region. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) began to bomb an area occupied by PKK members. According to military sources, Goman Mountain was the main target of the operation, and the PKK members’ route was taken under military control.