Turkey hits PKK targets on three borders
Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
Turkey has hit outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets on three borders in two aerial operations, which together amount to one of the most extensive and effective campaigns recently carried out.
The Turkish Armed Forces stated on Nov. 28 that it carried out its initial operation against PKK targets in the Zap and Metina regions of northern Iraq, in which eight armed militants were “neutralized” and two caves were destroyed in airstrikes.
The authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured.
The second air offensive was conducted near the Iraq-Iran border, in which Turkish F-16 jets targeted PKK positions south of the Kandil Mountain, where the PKK’s headquarters are based, as well as Asos near Sulaymaniyah.
Turkish warplanes destroyed a total of 41 PKK targets in Asos, including shelters and tunnels used by the group.
The operations came after the Turkish authorities on Nov. 27 noticed intense movement in the Asos region, which is used by both the PKK and its Iranian branch, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), as a logistics center and passage route.
After determining the movement through drones and by obtaining information from local sources, a total of 20 F-16 jets took off from military bases close to the Iraqi border and bombed the determined targets. A tanker aircraft was also on duty during the operation.
Bunker busters were also used in order to destroy PKK and PJAK underground shelters.
When asked about whether the Iranian and Iraqi authorities were notified about the aerial operations, Turkish security sources told daily Hürriyet that “coordination sharing can be made regarding sensitive regions depending on the situation.”
PKK targets in Asos were also bombed by Turkish jets on Nov. 3 and 12. At the time, reports of Turkey’s communication with Baghdad and Tehran during the operations were not refuted by Ankara.