Kurdish War: Turkish Commandos Bring Them Back Alive


May 12,2008: Over the weekend, and into today, Turkish jets bombed several suspected PKK locations just across the border in Iraq.

May 10, 2008: Iraqi Kurds are claiming that Iran has diverted a river that runs into Iraqi Kurdistan. The Iraqis are saying that the Alon River has "dried up" in Iraq because of Iranian interference. Make no mistake – water is a cause for war in the Middle East. Is a "water fight" a likely cause of war between Iraq and Iran? There are a lot of other issues between the two countries, and conceivably a conflict over water rights could contribute to it. The Alon River is a tributary of the Diyala River. The Iraqis claim that Iran is digging two diversion tunnels near the city of Juwanro. The region has also experienced a drought.

May 9, 2008: Three people were killed and five wounded when a bus struck a land mine on a road in Batman province (southeastern Turkey).

May 8, 2008: The Iraqi government declared that it did not support PKK violence against Turkey. In fact, the statement specified that the Kurdish regional government does not support PKK violence against Turkey – an even more explicit political message. The statement said that the Iraqi Kurdish government had no influence over the PKK but that solving the problem presented by the PKK required a political solution. All in all, this statement is another in a long string of statements where Iraq's central government and the Kurdish regional government distance themselves from the PKK.

May 7, 2008: Turkish media reported that two PKK members were killed in Syria when they tried to kidnap a Syrian Kurd clan leader. The two PKK rebels were allegedly part of Fehman Huseyin's PKK faction.

May 4, 2008: Turkey reported a series of major air raid on PKK positions in the Khandil Mountain region of Iraq. The strikes began on May 3 and continued until May 4. The Turks estimated 150 PKK rebels were killed in the attacks.

April 29, 2008: A Turkish soldier and two PKK rebels died in a firefight in Bingol province (southeastern Turkey). Turkish intelligence teams captured three PKK fighters who were at a base camp inside northern Iraq. The Turkish military rarely mentions "snatch"-type special forces operations; however, since the Turkish incursion into Iraq earlier this year, that may have changed. Since 2007 the Iraqi government has signaled its willingness to let Turkey launch strikes against the PKK, though it insists that it "be informed" about operations.

April 24, 2008: Four Turkish combat aircraft struck PKK positions in northern Iraq. The Turkish aircraft hit a PKK force in the Hakurk area. The Turks believed that the PKK force was attempting to sneak into Turkey. The PKK said the Turkish air strikes did not cause any casualties.

April 20, 2008: Syrian Kurds reportedly remain angry about the killing of three Syrian Kurds by Syrian security forces on March 20. One groups is asking international human rights groups to conduct an independent investigation of the incident, which took place near Dawar al-Hilalaya (eastern Syria).


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