Six soldiers, 16 militants killed in clashes with PKK
HAKARI / ŞIRNAK
Land Forces Commander Gen Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu visits the governor’s office in the eastern province of Hakkari in the wake of fresh clashes with the PKK. DHA photoFive Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in a landmine attack followed by an ambush by suspected militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the eastern Hakkari province on Aug. 22. One soldier was also killed after suspected PKK militants launched coordinated attacks on two separate battalion headquarters in Hakkari yesterday.
Four landmines were detonated by PKK militants as a Turkish military convoy drove on a road between Hakkari’s Bağlar and Zorgeçit villages, located roughly 20 kilometers away from the center of the province’s Şemdinli district. PKK militants opened fire on the convoy after the blasts, prompting a firefight between the soldiers and militants. Five soldiers were killed and seven were injured in the attack. Two Cobra gunships and numerous armored vehicles were dispatched from Hakkari’s Yüksekova district to reinforce the troops who were ambushed. Sixteen PKK militants were killed in the ensuing clashes. Esat Canan, a deputy from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), was near the area where the clashes erupted and wrote on his Twitter account that they “were not permitted to leave the region.”
The commander of Turkey’s Land Forces, Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu, went to Hakkari in the wake of the attack and paid a visit to Gov. Orhan Alimoğlu yesterday. “The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to carry out its mission to ensure the safety of the region without let up” Kıvrıkoğlu said. “Unfortunately, five soldiers were killed in yesterday’s operations, but the terrorist organization has suffered great casualties. Our units struggled heroically, and all the required measures were taken. We are always on the side of our people, and there is no need for them to worry. The Turkish military and Turkish Armed Forces will always perform their duty of providing security for the people in the region,” he added during his visit to the Hakkari Governor’s Office.
Meanwhile, one soldier was killed after suspected militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launched coordinated attacks on two separate battalion headquarters in the eastern province of Hakkari yesterday. Militants attacked the Omurlu 2nd border battalion near Omurlu village in Hakkari’s Şemdinli province with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), mortars and assault rifles at around 3 p.m. The Derecik gendarmerie battalion headquarters, located 10 kilometers away from the Omurlu border battalion, came under fire from assault rifles at the same time. Clashes erupted in both locations as Turkish soldiers returned fire.
Numerous helicopters and gunships were dispatched from bases in Yüksekova and Şemdinli to the clash zones. One soldier was reportedly killed at the Omurlu 2nd border battalion.
Meanwhile, police detained four people carrying explosive devices after stopping their vehicle at a police checkpoint in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district. Detonation triggers and batteries were seized from the suspects, according to reports. The suspects were taken to district’s police station for questioning. The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Outpost attacked in Şırnak
A gendarmerie outpost near Mağara village in the İdil district of the southeastern Şırnak province came under attack by suspected PKK militants on Aug. 22.
Militants attacked the outpost with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and assault rifles at around 8:30 p.m., prompting a firefight with the soldiers at the outpost. The ensuing clash lasted around 30 minutes, after which the assailants fled the scene.
No official statement was made regarding the details of the clash, but it was reported that a military operation was launched in the morning to apprehend the fleeing militants. PKK militants also launched mortars on the Tekeli gendarmerie outpost on Turkey’s border with Iran. No injuries were reported in the attack.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.