Kurdish War: Cracking Down on Kurdish Criminals


December20, 2006: Turkey insists that an "ethnically divided" Iraq would mean greater regional instability. This is Turkey's way of saying that it would not accept an independent Kurdish state (presumably centered in northern Iraq). The statement came after recent reports from Iraq that various Iraqi Kurdish groups were threatening to "secede" from Iraq. Turkey has opposed any partitioning of Iraq.

December 14, 2006: The United States has begun a new diplomatic initiative designed to cut off international funding sources for the PKK. Europe is a major source of PKK funds. Some of the money comes from Kurds working in Europe. The US and Turkey also contend that the PKK is involved in organized crime. The PKK rejects this claim. However, the US says it has evidence the PKK is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. The PKK is definitely involved in the illegal arms trade - including buying arms in southeastern Europe and moving them to southeastern Turkey. The diplomatic initiative may not be very effective in terms of cutting off funds, but it does send the message to Turkey that the US is trying to help curb the PKK. The US announcement followed a December 11 meeting between the Turkish and US special envoys who are exploring ways to deal with the PKK.

December 12, 2006: Turkish security forces reported several anti-PKK sweeps in southeastern Turkey founds supply dumps and explosives. The actions took place in the Bingol, Hatay, Siirt, and Diyarbakir areas. In Diyarbakir the security forces found 150 "explosive mechanisms," a small amount of explosives, and several electronic devices - in other words, the recipes for small bombs. The security forces also reported finding medical supplies in "winter shelters." That's an important tip. Winter is well on its way and that usually means a drop in combat operations - it's too cold. Rebel groups store supplies for use in a future "spring offensive."

December 8, 2006: The crash of a Turkish military helicopter is believed to be the result of a remote control PKK bomb.

December 5, 2006: Turkish security forces reported that their units killed five PKK guerrillas in a series of firefights in southeastern Turkey. The reports indicated the engagements occurred in the Turkey-Iraq border area.


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