Top Turkish soldier likens anti-PKK fight to do-or-die struggle
AA photoThe security forces’ fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a “do-or-die” struggle, the commander of Turkey’s gendarmerie forces has said, discussing ongoing operations in the Çukurca district of Hakkari province.
“Çukurca has been fully cleared of PKK members. They have been fully removed from Kaletepe region, a key point for the PKK to infiltrate into Turkey from northern Iraq and to prepare terrorist acts,” Gen. Yaşar Güler told reporters on Sept. 8.
Last week, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched a major operation into Çukurca, which the PKK has used as a key base for attacks within Turkey. At least 157 PKK militants have been killed in clashes in Çukurca while the security forces have also sustained significant casualties.
Güler said there are 12 other key spots in the east and southeast to be cleared of PKK militants.
“All critical locations in [the provinces of] Kars, Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Ağrı will be cleared of terrorists within a certain time period,” he vowed.
Responding to a question on reports that Turkey and the United States could carry out a joint operation to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Gen. Güler said any such move “should be very well assessed.”
Elsewhere, a PKK militant has been caught in Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Istanbul police launched an operation in the airport after intelligence was received regarding Ebru Fırat’s arrival in Istanbul, Anadolu Agency reported on Sept. 8.
Previous pictures showed Fırat, who was being sought by the police, with one of the PKK’s senior figures, Murat Karayılan.
Fırat, codenamed “Amara,” was caught after her plane landed in Istanbul. She had reportedly arrived in the province to carry out a suicide attack.
She was taken to police headquarters and her interrogation was ongoing.
Meanwhile, PKK militants launched an attack on a police checkpoint in front of the provincial building of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Van late on Sept. 7.