Turkey has killed almost 100 militants of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in offensives against the PKK over the past four days, while the top generals who are leading military operations in the country’s Southeast vowed not to return to Ankara before accomplishing their mission. The terrorists were killed in the offensives of the past four days on Turkey’s border with Iraq and cross-border operations against PKK hideouts in northern Iraq.
Forty-nine PKK terrorists were killed in the Kazan Valley region near the town of Çukurca in Hakkari province, which borders Iraq, the military said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday, which brought to the total number of PKK terrorists killed since operations were launched last Wednesday to 93. On Wednesday Turkey launched anti-PKK offensives involving some 10,000 troops both in southeastern Turkey and across the border in Iraq. The military operations began hours after 24 soldiers were killed in Çukurca by the PKK in simultaneous attacks, the highest death toll of a single attack on the military since the 1990s.
Turkey’s top commanders, Chief of General Staff. Gen. Necdet Özel and four force commanders who rushed to Hakkari in the aftermath of Wednesday’s PKK attacks, are still in the region to oversee the anti-PKK offensive and have no plans to return to Ankara until the offensive is successfully completed.
Özel is personally commanding the air-backed ground offensive that was launched against the PKK along the border and in northern Iraq.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç on Saturday said the top commanders “pledged not to return home before accomplishing the anti-PKK operation.” Clashes with the PKK have killed tens of thousands of people since the PKK took up arms to fight for autonomy in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast in 1984.
The military said it had recovered the bodies of 35 PKK terrorists in the valley after it attacked the area with artillery shells and airstrikes on Saturday. Seven other bodies were found inside a cave while seven more PKK members were killed in separate clashes in the region.
“Operations that have been launched in regions across the border and in two regions inside Turkey are continuing,” the military statement said, adding that they were aimed at “preventing acts by members of the separatist terror organization against our units.” On Friday, the military the air and ground offensives were mostly concentrated within Turkey, in Çukurca, while operations were also under way “in a few areas” in northern Iraq.
The military said the operation includes commandos, Special Forces and paramilitary Special Forces. They are being reinforced by F-16 and F-4 warplanes, Super Cobra helicopter gunships and surveillance drones. Seven senior PKK operatives were also reported to have been killed by the Turkish military prior to Wednesday’s attack. Turkey has launched more than two dozen air and ground incursions into northern Iraq over the past 27 years. The current offensive is the largest attack on the PKK in more than three years. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s attack, which sent shockwaves across the nation, Turkish leaders vowed revenge. “Those who caused us to suffer this pain will suffer equally. Those who assume that they can shake the Turkish state in this way will see that our revenge for these attacks will be great,” President Abdullah Gül said.
Wire communications reveal panic in PKK
Records of wire communications among members of the PKK have revealed that the terrorist organization is in panic over the Turkish military operations in the country’s Southeast.
In one of the conversations, a senior PKK member orders others to “collect the guerillas from the rural areas.” “We need support. … Support. Or else, it will be very bitter for the guerillas.”
In another conversation, a PKK terrorist asks a senior PKK operative what he should do about the injured “guerillas.”
In response, the senior PKK leader says: “You just shoot him to death. … Flee. … You just shoot him in the head.” When the PKK member answers that the number of the injured PKK members is more than 20, the senior operative tells him to shoot a missile into the area to kill the injured terrorists.
In the meantime, a PKK terrorist who recently fled a PKK camp and surrendered to Turkish security forces in Şırnak provided extensive information about the PKK camps in the region. The PKK terrorist, identified by the initials E.D., said the PKK has dozens of camps in Turkey’s border region with Iraq and in northern Iraq. While some of these camps are used for the training of PKK militants, others are used to offer them political training. E.D. gave detailed information about the locations of the PKK camps, for which purpose they are used and how many PKK terrorists are based in each camp.
3 soldiers killed in Hakkari
While the Turkish military continues military operations against the PKK, three soldiers were killed in Hakkari over the weekend in separate incidents. Two of the soldiers were killed by a landmine in Şemdinli, while another soldier was killed in clashes with the PKK during operations in the Kazan Valley in Çukurca. Six soldiers were injured in the same clash.
23 October 2011, Sunday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL