Kurdish War: The Ceasefire Is Over


June 6, 2010: Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebel commanders have announced that their ceasefire (announced in April 2009) with the Turkish Army is over. It was never much of a ceasefire, but it served a political and propaganda purpose. The PKK is ending the ceasefire because PKK and Turkish security forces have been fighting one another for the last few months. It also follows rumors that jailed PKK supreme commander Abdullah “Apo” Ocalan has said that he is no longer interested in negotiating with the Turkish government. Interestingly enough it comes at a time that Turkish and Israeli relations are at a low point. The PKK may be seeking Israeli support. The Israelis did provide the Kurds in Iraq with help against the Iraqi Baathist government.

June 2, 2010: The Turkish government said that 23 soldiers and security personnel were killed in action against the PKK in May 2010, and 33 were wounded.

May 31, 2010: Six Turkish military personnel died when a rocket attack hit their vehicle, near the naval base at Iskenderun (southern Turkey). One soldier was wounded.

May 30, 2010: Five security troops died in a series of attacks and firefights in southeastern Turkey.

May 27, 2010: One Turkish soldier was killed and three wounded in a firefight with PKK rebels near the village of Andac (Sirnak province). The soldiers were on a surveillance mission near the Iraqi border.

May 21, 2010: The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) condemned attacks by Turkey and Iran on Iraqi territory. Turkish aircraft and Iranian artillery fired at alleged PKK based in northern Iraq.

May 20, 2010: Turkish Air Force fighter-bombers struck several PKK base areas in northern Iraq. The government said approximately 20 aircraft hit a dozen targets.

May 14, 2010: The Turkish military disputed media criticism that the government was not taking adequate steps to protect border outposts and police (gendarmerie) stations in southeastern Turkey. The military said that it is in the process of building or improving 134 gendarme outposts in the region. Since January, numerous outposts have been fired upon or shelled.

May 10, 2010: Turkish security forces pursued a PKK unit across the border into northern Iraq. The forces engaged the PKK group in a running firefight. Turkish forces employed helicopter gunships and drone reconnaissance aircraft in the operation.

May 7, 2010: Five PKK rebels and two Turkish security personnel died in a firefight in southeastern Turkey (Hakkari province) near the Iraqi border. The firefight occurred near a border outpost (likely a gendarme station).

May 4, 2010: Turkey's military Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug vowed that his forces would crush the PKK rebellion. Basbug's statement came after PKK rebels killed five Turkish soldiers in a series of incidents in eastern and southeastern Turkey. Four of the troops died in an attack in Tunceli province. Basbug made the statement while visiting the tomb of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Ataturk.


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