Kurdish War: There Will Be Lots More Blood


October 21, 2011: The Turkish government said that they have at least 22 battalions of troops involved in the on-going anti-PKK operation. The battalions are operating in southeastern Turkey and inside Iraq. That comes out to around 10,000 soldiers. The Turkish ground operation is supported by fighter-bombers and attack helicopters.

Despite protests from the Iraqi government, Turkey said that its forces will continue to attack PKK rebels inside Iraq.

October 20, 2011: Turkey claimed 20 PKK rebels were killed during the first phase of an incursion to destroy PKK forces in northern Iraq.

October 19, 2011: Turkey launched a quick reaction attack into northern Iraq, following an attack by PKK rebels. Turkey described the attack as a hot pursuit of some 200 rebel fighters. The PKK group launched attacks on eight outposts in Hakkari province (southeastern Turkey, Iraq border), leaving 24 Turkish soldiers dead and 18 wounded. This is the highest single day combat death loss by Turkish security forces since the mid-1990s.

October 18, 2011: Five Turkish policemen and three civilians were killed when a roadside bomb detonated in Bitlis province (southeastern Turkey). Security forces believe PKK rebels were responsible for the attack.

October 13, 2011: Germany said that it would not permit PKK activities inside Germany, and considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization. The German announcement followed a Turkish government accusation made October 4 that certain German charities have aided the PKK. Specifically, the charities have aided the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an organization which Turkey considers to be a PKK front organization. Sometimes the KCK is described as a PKK political wing.

October 12, 2011: Turkey estimated that air and artillery attacks on PKK base camps conducted during the month of September killed 150 to 160 PKK rebels. The PKK has been drawing blood, too. The PKK claims to have killed 50 Turkish soldiers since the end of July.

October 8, 2011: Is Iran playing the Kurd card? Many Turks seem to think Iran has increased its support for the PKK, as a means of putting pressure on Turkey. Iran is angry that Turkey now opposes Syria’s dictator Basher Assad, which is an Iranian client. There is also another theory that the Syrian government itself is behind the PKK resurgence. Two senior PKK commanders are Syrian Kurds. So far, this is just speculation, but the Assad government has had close ties to the PKK.

October 2, 2011: Kurdish members of Turkey’s parliament are urging the government to pursue a political solution to end the war with the PKK. The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) recently announced a new eight-point plan that calls for giving Kurds more cultural and linguistic rights as well as ensuring civil rights in Kurdish areas of Turkey.

September 30, 2011: The Turkish government is pressuring the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq to fulfill its commitments to help curb PKK political and fundraising activities in Iraq. In early September the KRG said that it would help curb PKK activities inside Iraq. Turkey basically wants the KRG to expel the PKK and hand over senior PKK commanders.

September 29, 2011: Four people, including a policeman, were killed in an attack in Batman province (southeastern Turkey).

September 26, 2011: The Turkish government said that it would no longer pursue discussions with the PKK. The discussions, such as they were, were between intelligence officers and PKK representatives. Even the low-level discussions have caused quite a political stir. It appears those have now ended since fighting between Turkish security forces and PKK cadres has increased since July.


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