Turkish jets hit PKK militants installing explosives in Turkey’s southeast

Turkish jets hit PKK militants installing explosives in Turkey’s southeast

Turkish jets hit PKK militants installing explosives in Turkey’s southeast

DHA photo

Turkish warplanes have targeted outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants as they were installing explosives in the southeastern province of Hakkari. 

Three militants were killed as they were installing home-made explosives on a road in the Şemdinli district on March 27. 

Security forces noticed three militants attempting to install explosives and gave coordinates to a warplane in the area. They were killed after jets carried out an air strike. 

In addition, one PKK militant was killed in the Bistepe region of Şemdinli. 

Elsewhere, some 12 PKK militants were killed and one militant was caught alive during a security operation launched after curfews were imposed on seven villages in the Tatvan district of the eastern province of Bitlis. 

The Turkish Armed Forces has been conducting broad security operations targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions over the past three days, with 46 militants “neutralized” and heavy machine guns destroyed in air-supported operations.

Authorities often use the word “neutralized” to imply the militants in question were either killed, captured or surrendered.

The operations came after serious intelligence within the organization suggested that militants managed to infiltrate and position DShKs, a Russian heavy machine gun also known as Dochka, particularly targeting Turkish warplanes and planned attacks on various military base regions. Accordingly, the warplanes have been actively accompanying the land forces in those operations.

Initially, Turkish air raids targeted Dochkas infiltrated from northern Iraq and Syria’s Kobane before winter in the Yüksekova district of the southeastern province of Hakkari on March 25 and March 26, which was later followed by a land operation. Some 22 PKK militants were “neutralized” in the air operations, as heavy machine guns were destroyed.

In addition, another 14 PKK militants were “neutralized” in operations in the Kutu Deresi and Vartinik Deresi regions of the eastern province of Tunceli on March 26, while another PKK militant was killed and another was wounded in operations in the Bitlis, Tatvan and Anadere regions. Their ammunitions and equipment were also seized by the security forces.

The killed militants had reportedly been in contact with senior figures of the organization based in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq via radio-set, and they had specifically been trained to conduct “sensational attacks.”

Previously, eight PKK militants were killed in air operations in northern Iraq on March 24, bringing the total number of neutralized militants to 46 during the three-day operations.

Around 500 troops are currently participating in the operations, with another 350 conducting operations in the regions witnessing heavy clashes with militants.

Separately, the Turkish Interior Ministry said on March 27 that a total of 57 PKK militants were “neutralized” during operations conducted across the country over the past week.

Some 46 PKK militants were killed, while another 10 were captured and the other surrendered to security forces, the ministry said in a statement. It added that 57 sanctuaries and caves used by the militants in seven provinces and 29 hand-made explosives and mines were destroyed. It stated that four tons of explosive materials, 24 hand-grenades and 52 weapons in different calibers were also seized during the operations.

Some 551 suspects meanwhile were detained on charges of “aiding and abetting the organization” in 311 operations across the country, the ministry stated.

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed during operations against PKK militants in Yüksekova on March 27, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

The soldier was initially wounded in a fire opened by militants while dislodging equipment but subsequently succumbed to his injuries in the Hakkari State Hospital.