[email protected]

September 04, 2011, Sunday

The PKK has lost the war

There are reports that three states are conducting a joint operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). It is now clear that Turkey, Iran and the Kurdish autonomous administration in northern Iraq have reached a complete agreement about conducting coordinated operations against PKK camps in the Kandil Mountains.

Nechirvan Barzani, the representative of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), paid a critical visit to Iran last week. The Kurdish delegation also included Interior Minister Karim Sinjari from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The delegation had high-level talks, including with the president of Iran, and after returning from Iran, they came to Turkey. They briefed the Turkish side about the talks with Iran and discussed the operation to be launched against the PKK. Details about the agreement and the coordinated operations are emerging.

The KRG's official publications are propagandizing against the PKK and its Iranian offshoot, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK). Zagros TV, for instance, is holding the PKK and PJAK responsible for recent developments. Moreover, roads to Kandil as well as the supply and escape routes of the PKK and PJAK were blocked by the KRG. Under the agreement made with Iran, Iranian troops will proceed five to seven kilometers into northern Iraq and shell PKK and PJAK camps.

Barzani, a prominent figure within the KRG, called on the PKK and PJAK to surrender, and this summarizes the current state of affairs. Thus, the PKK is trapped. This blow may terminate the PKK's 27 years of existence.

This consensus among Iran, Turkey and the administration in northern Iraq implies that the PKK is completely isolated. With its terrorist attack in Silvan on July 14, the PKK tried to take advantage of the disagreement between Iran and Turkey by riding on the wave of the escalating tension in Syria. On the same date, Iran launched ground operations against the Kandil region for the first time in its history and PJAK surrendered to Iran without much resistance. A recent increase in PKK attacks in Turkey proved that the PKK's new strategy relied on the increased confrontation between Iran and Turkey and this eventually led to the surrender of PJAK. But the PKK's plans were foiled. The diplomacy Barzani is conducting between Iran and Turkey as well as the joint operations indicate that the PKK's strategy has collapsed. Instead of making a deal with the PKK, Iran made an agreement with Turkey. For this reason, claims that Murat Karayılan, the PKK military wing's number one, was caught by Iran are not baseless.

The fact that the KRG has taken bold steps implies that the consensus between Iran and Turkey has also been endorsed by the United States. This picture means the end of the road for the PKK, an organization which owes its existence to small conflicts in the region. It is very difficult for the PKK to produce and maintain terrorism without logistical support. Accordingly, it is obvious that the Kurdish political movement has stepped into a new era and, more importantly, the armed rebellion that has been going on for the last 27 years is nearing its end.

What will happen now?

PKK leaders have gained much experience in their endless fight. This experience tells them not to continue a war that they will not win. Under these emerging circumstances, PKK leaders will accept the conditions stipulated for them and surrender. The armed struggle will end.

The question is, how quickly will PKK leaders comprehend these new circumstances? The game is over. The PKK is isolated and has no choice other than to surrender.

Previous articles of the columnist