Kurdish War: Iran Joins the Fight Against the PKK

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April 22, 2006: The PKK related violence in southeast Turkey has, so far this year, left at least 58 rebels and security personnel (14 soldiers and four policemen) dead.

April 21, 2006: PKK rebels have increasingly been fighting Iranian security forces. This is in response to Iranian crack downs on separatist activity among Iranian Kurds. In the last few days, Iranian artillery has been fired on an Iraqi village, just across the border, where PKK rebels are believed to be based.

April 20, 2006: Turkey sent about 10,000 thousand more troops to southeastern Turkey, to fight PKK rebels. There are still only about 2,000 Turkish troops in northern Iraq, and 50,000 in eastern Turkey.

April 19, 2006: It looks like the bombing offensive in Istanbul is a definite case of "counter-tourism terrorism" -- in other words, economic warfare. Istanbul is Turkey's major tourist draw. Bomb attacks began at the end of March and despite a series of arrests, the attacks continue.

Without waiting for permission from the central government, Kurdish politicians in northern Iraq announced the formation of a "Department of Natural Resources." This organization would control the use of all natural resources, including oil, in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. This bothers Turkey a great deal, as it would, if the Kurds got away with it, give the Kurds over 20 billion dollars a year in income. The Iraqi Kurds plan to mollify the central government by only getting their hooks into new oil wells in the north. But even this could provide several billion dollars of revenue a year by the end of the decade.

April 16, 2006: A bomb detonated on an Istanbul street left 31 people injured (two critically). The Turkish police said they suspected Kurdish separatists set off the bomb (possibly members of the TAK, The Kurdistan Liberation Hawks).

April 14, 2006: Turkey said its troops killed 12 PKK Kurd rebels north of Sirnak (near the Iraqi border). This continued activity indicates the PKK is attempting to infiltrate fighters from bases inside northern Iraq into the Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey. In the past Turkey has responded to PKK "spring offensives" by moving units up closer to the border with Iraq, and occasionally conducting attacks into northern Iraq to disrupt the PKK.

April 8, 2006: Two Turkish security policemen died when their vehicle hit a mine during an operation in Sirnak near the Iraqi border.

The Turkish government said that it had arrested a man suspected of launching a terror bomb attack in July 2005 in the town of Kusadasi., The Turkish report said the suspect was delivering explosives to a group in Istanbul.

Recent terrorist attacks have been claimed by the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks (TAK), a group formed by former PKK guerrillas which operated in and near Istanbul. A total of 11 people have been arrested as TAK. TheTAK claimed credit for the April 3 bus bombing in Istanbul.

April 7, 2006: A suicide bomber blew herself up in the Turkish Black Sea tow of Ordu. There were no reports of fatalities besides the suicide bomber. However, in DIyarbakir (southeastern Turkey, in the predominantly Kurdish area) a bomb attack injured three people.

April 4, 2006: Turkish troops claimed they killed five PKK rebels in an ambush near Sirnak.

April 3, 2006: A bus in Istanbul was attacked with gasoline bombs. Three people died when the bus driver backed up on a sidewalk. Turkish authorities said that the PKK, or a PKK faction in the Istanbul area were suspected in the attack.

 

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