Kurdish War: Last Man Standing


September 8, 2010: Is a negotiated settlement to the Kurdish War possible? The key is battle fatigue-- who will tire first, the Turkish government or the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)? At the moment neither side seems tired of fighting. The PKK has tried to fight a war of exhaustion. The PKK sought to use the European Union as a political lever. The EU insists its members meet human rights standards and follow democratic procedures. However, Turkey countered the PKK strategy by getting European countries to list the PKK as a terrorist organization. Over time other European countries have cracked down on PKK political and financial operations in their territory. Turkey has also worked with the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraqi Kurdistan. These political operations have paid off. However, the government launched a peace initiative aimed at Turkish Kurds that has not worked out well. The PKK demands a general amnesty for its fighters and the Turkish government is simply not going to grant an amnesty to the senior commanders, whom the government says are terrorists.

September 1, 2010: The Iranian government said that within the next week to ten days it will resume shipping gas through the Turkish pipeline damaged in the August 25 PKK attack. An Iranian Oil Ministry official said the country's natural gas flow to Turkey will be resumed within the next seven days after it halted because of an explosion on August 25.  The overnight blast, allegedly carried out by the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), forced Turkish authorities to shut down the conduit in the country's eastern province of Agri, which borders Iran.

August 31, 2010: Denmark said that an investigation into two Danish media companies has produced evidence that the PKK has used them to promote its political and activities. It is likely Danish prosecutors will charge the companies with promoting a terrorist organization. Whatever the judicial results, the fact Denmark has acted so aggressively is a political victory for Turkey. It is a violation of Danish law to promote the activities of an organization which conducts terrorist activities.

August 29, 2010: Turkish police discovered an explosives cache with 65 kilos (143 pounds) of plastic explosive near the city of Diyarbakir. Three men were arrested in the operation.

August 27, 2010: For the second day in a row Turkish Air Force fighter-bombers hit PKK targets in Iraq's Qandil mountains.

August 25, 2010: The Iranian government accused the PKK of damaging a natural gas pipeline in the Iran-Turkey border area. Turkey had reported an attack on the pipeline, which ships Iranian natural gas into Turkey. The attack took place near the city of Agri, in Turkey. Agri is in Agri province. Mount Ararat (Mount Agri) is near the city.

August 21, 2010: Turkish security forces killed four PKK rebels in an operation in Hakkari province (southeastern Turkey). One Turkish soldier was killed in the operation.

August 14, 2010: The PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire. The ceasefire will run through Ramadan (which ends September 20, this year). The Turkish government ignores PKK ceasefires because it regards the PKK as an illegal organization.

August 10, 2010: Turkish police reported an attack on a pipeline section between the towns of Idil and Midyat. Idil is in Sirnak province, Midyat in Mardin province (both in southeastern Turkey, just north of the Syrian border). Two people were killed in a fire resulting from the explosion.

August 9, 2010: Turkish security forces killed five PKK rebels in a firefight in Batman province (southeastern Turkey). The security forces caught the rebels laying mines near the town of Besiri. Two Turkish soldiers were wounded in the firefight.

August 8, 2010: Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush near the town of Nusaybin (Mardin province, southeastern Turkey).



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