Kurdish War: Stalemate Over Northern Iraq


February 25, 2006: Turkey has Interpol looking for 131 PKK members. Since 2003, Turkey has killed or captured 1,325 terrorists (most of them PKK, or Kurdish). In that same time, 116 PKK terrorists were arrested in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Azerbaijan and extradited back to Turkey. Since 2004, Turkish police have captured 60 terrorists in possession of explosives, stopping a number of attacks. In Turkey, it is widely believed that the PKK survives only because the United States protects PKK camps in northern Iraq. The Kurdish government in northern Iraq have refused to launch a major program to eliminate the PKK in their area. The U.S. says they have more pressing issues in Iraq, and will not allow the Turks to send police and troops into northern Iraq.

February 24, 2006: Turkish forces killed five PKK guerrillas in a firefight near the Syrian border. The Turkish forces were conducting "anti-terrorist" operations.

During 2005 Iran has given Turkey custody of ten PKK rebels. Iran turned over PKK to rebels to Turkey in 2004. In general, Iran and Turkey do not get along, but handing over PKK guerrillas to Turkey is an easy way to buy a little good will. Iran has trouble with its own Kurds.

February 18, 2006: Iranian police killed two PKK gunmen near the Turkish border.

February 13, 2006: In eastern Turkey, police arrested six members of the PKK.

February 10, 2006: A bomb went off in an Internet cafe in Turkey's capital, injuring fifteen. The PKK was suspected.

January 30, 2006: The Kurd War goes through fits and starts. Initially the PKK's Fall ceasefire put a damper on rebel contacts in southern Turkey. The Winter weather reduces the number of combat operations, except laying mines and setting off IEDs. Eastern Turkey gets cold, particularly in January. While "urban operations" and political operations can continue in Winter, the Kurd region in Turkey is in the east and southeast, and PKK fighters with bases in northern Iraq have to face the weather. Though the ceasefire ended October 3, 2005, incidents remained infrequent until November 2005.

January 28, 2006: The PKK freed a Turkish policeman held captive for almost three months. The policeman was released in northern Iraq.

January 17, 2006: Turkey filed charges on an NCO for firing on the crowd in Semdinli on November 9, 2005. The charges did not mention the bombing of the bookstore.

January 10, 2006: Police arrested seven suspected PKK members in Istanbul. The suspects were found with nearly 25 pounds of explosive.

December 29, 2005: A mine laid by the PKK killed three Turkish troops.

December 3, 2005: Four Turkish soldiers died in an attack on the police base at Albarak, in eastern Turkey.

November 22, 2005: A major firefight took place in Sirnak province. The PKK claimed 15 Turkish soldiers died in the battle. One PKK guerrilla died in the incident. The Kurdish source provided no other details.

November 20, 2005: Kurdish political groups accused the Turkish government of starting a new "cycle of violence" on November 9, 2005. Kurdish sources said that on November 9 Turkish police and troops bombed a bookstore in Semdinli (Hakkari province). One person died in the attack (possibly when security forces fired at a crowd in the streets of Semdinli). Riots and demonstrations broke out in Kurdish areas for ten days following the bomb attack, including a major demonstration in Cizre on November 19..


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