Kurdish War: December 10, 1999


Turkish forces killed 10 PKK guerrillas in operations in southeastern Anatolia.

December 9; Turkish forces killed 5 PKK guerrillas in operations near the Iraqi border.

December 3; Turkish troops reported that they had raided PKK bases in Iraq over the previous five days and had killed 70 PKK rebels. This caused a protest by PKK leaders who had pulled their troops back into Iraq at the request of their jailed leader, Ocalon.--Stephen V Cole

December 2; The Kurdish PKK rebels are being torn apart by a fundamental difference in strategy. Abdullah Ocalan, in a Turkish prison awaiting execution, has called for PKK rebels to observe a ceasefire and to either leave Turkey or surrender to the Turkish military. A few have surrendered, but most have moved to bases in Iraq or Iran. Some PKK leaders, however, have rejected Ocalon's call for peace, insisting that either he has been tortured into that position or has turned traitor to the PKK cause. These hardliners also note that while Ocalon has called for a ceasefire, the Turkish Army is continuing its operations against them. So far, only one PKK leader (Kemal, who leads a small unit of 30 guerrillas in Tunceli) has publicly rejected orders to surrender or leave Turkey, but many other local commanders have expressed unhappiness with Ocalon's orders. --Stephen V Cole


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