Kurdish War: PKK Down But Not Out


August 18,2008:  Turkish warplanes are again hitting PKK targets in northern response. This is believed to be in response to recent PKK operations in southeastern Turkey, where PKK operatives have planted anti-vehicle mines and roadside bombs against army patrols. The level of PKK violence is less than last year, reflecting Turkish anti-PKK operations in northern Iraq over the last year.

August 16, 2008: Turkey and Iraq continue to tout the Iraqis July promise to "crackdown" on PKK operations inside Iraq. Iraq wants good relations with Turkey for several reasons. A lot of Iraqi oil is shipped by pipeline through Turkey. Turkey is also an ally against Syria and looks askance at the mullah regime in Iran. The Turkish government wants to improve trade with Iraq and believes it could grow to $25 billion a year by 2011 or 2012. Turkish-Iraqi bilateral trade in 2007 was between $3.5 and $4 billion dollars – at least official trade. As for smuggling? Take a guess.

August 14, 2008: Does the PKK still have connections with Russia? The PKK certainly began as a Cold War-era Marxist organization. The Turkish press is at least asking the question, albeit indirectly.

August 11, 2008: Turkey reported nine soldiers died when a roadside bomb detonated in eastern Erzincan province. One report called it a "guerrilla explosive" – meaning an IED.

August 8, 2008: Turkish officials said that it may take up to two weeks to repair the "fire and blast damaged" Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

August 7, 2008: The PKK are fighting an oil war. A separate Kurdistan would have billions of barrels of oil. There is also a domestic Turkish angle and one that has interesting resonance with the Russo-Georgia War. The PKK took "credit" for an explosion that damaged the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in eastern Turkey. Turkey had earlier said that the fire on the pipeline was not due to sabotage. The pipeline carries about 1.2 million barrels of oil a day.

August 2, 2008: Turkish security officials said that the PKK was responsible for the July 27 bombing in Istanbul. "Several suspects" had been arrested. 17 people died in the terror bombings (two attacks) and 150 people were injured. The PKK has denied responsibility for the attack at least twice.

PKK rebels killed five Turkish "village guardsmen" in an attack in Turkey's Sirnak province.

August 1, 2008: Turkish security troops killed two PKK rebels in a battle in Tunceli province, near the town of Ovacik

July 31, 2008: Two Turkish gendarmes were wounded and one killed when their vehicle was ambushed near the city of Sivas (central Turkey).

July 28, 2008: The PKK denied responsibility for the terror bombings in Istanbul. A Turkish media source quoted the PKK as saying the terror attack was the work of "dark forces." The phrase "dark forces" could mean most anything – ultra-right Turk nationalists, various types of fascists, hard left terrorists, even Al Qaeda etcetera.

July 27, 2008: Two bombs went off in a residential area in Istanbul. The attacks occurred during the late evening. 17 people were killed. Initial reports indicate 150 more were wounded. The bombs were hidden in trash bins. According to police, the first bomb went off then people gathered, many to help those injured in the first blast. The second bomb then went off – and that's when scores more were wounded. This tactic is a tactic used by terrorists to "up the ante" in an attack. It is often an "anti-security forces" (anti-police or even firemen) tactic. The bombs are usually detonated by timers, with a five to twenty minute gap between the first detonation and the second (to allow time for the police and aid teams to arrive).



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