Wounded ISIL suspect turns out to be PKK member

Wounded ISIL suspect turns out to be PKK member

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Wounded ISIL suspect turns out to be PKK member

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on October 11, 2014 by Aamaq News Agency, a Youtube channel which posts videos from areas under the ISIL's control, allegedly shows an Islamic State group fighter firing a heavy machine gun in Ain al-Arab, known by the Kurds as Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border. AFP PHOTO / HO / AAMAQ NEWS AGENCY

A wounded man who was treated in Turkey last week and identified as a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by the Turkish press was discovered to be a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The man, who introduced himself as Şakir Ali and was treated at the emergency room of a hospital in Turkey’s Suruç district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, was depicted in the news as a member of ISIL.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Veli Ağbaba presented a parliamentary question, after reports that “an ISIL emir wounded in Kobane was being treated at Şanlıurfa” by the press.

Following an investigation on the issue conducted by the Health Ministry, the man was identified as Selahattin Dilek, a 38-year-old PKK member with the code name “Sofi,” who was responsible for Turkey’s Diyarbakır region.

Wounded ISIL suspect turns out to be PKK member

(DHA photo)

Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said the issue had been brought up to the Parliament by CHP deputies, but the situation was not as the deputies had claimed.

Müezzinoğlu said the man who claimed to be Şakir Ali had come to the Suruç State Hospital with a gunshot wound and was hospitalized the same day. The patient was transferred to another hospital in the Şanlıurfa city center, although health authorities did not inform the counter-terrorism squad.

The patient was later identified as Dilek, born in 1976, by the facial recognition system the Turkish police forces set up on the Turkey-Syria border as a result of people fleeing the country due to ISIL attacks on the border town of Kobane. Dilek is said to be responsible for the Diyarbakır region for the PKK.

Dilek denied that he was a member of the PKK. "I belonged to the [Syrian Kurdish militia organization] PYD. I deny the accusations. I was fighting against ISIL in Kobane and came to Suruç, Turkey for treatment," he said, arguing that he doesn't clearly remember when he joined the PYD.

Müezzinoğlu said Dilek was detained on Oct. 13, after his treatment was completely and delivered to the Diyarbakır police force.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said Oct. 17 that it was unaware of any flight operations by ISIL “in Syria or elsewhere” after a monitoring group reported that ISIL militants were being trained to fly in three captured fighter jets.

“We’re not aware of ISIL conducting any flight operations in Syria or elsewhere,” said Central Command spokesperson Colonel Patrick Ryder.

Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the group has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

“We will continue to keep a close eye on ISIL activity in Syria and Iraq and will continue to conduct strikes against their equipment, facilities, fighters and centers of gravity, wherever they may be,” Ryder said.  

Two days of heavy air strikes by U.S. warplanes until Oct. 16 slowed an advance by ISIL militants against Kurdish forces defending Kobane.

Last week, Turkish and U.S. officials said ISIL was on the verge of taking Kobane from its heavily outgunned Kurdish defenders, after seizing strategic points deep inside the town.