One of the two terrorists killed was Mahir Koç, who used the code name Celal Başkale and was in charge of PKK operations in Turkey’s Black Sea region, Amasya Governor Abdil Celil Öz announced on Saturday. Koç previously was a bodyguard for Fehman Hüseyin of Syria, one of the PKK’s chief commanders. Hüseyin uses the alias Bahoz Erdal.
Pvt. Murat Erdem and Sr. Sgt. Osman Cantürk were killed on Wednesday in a PKK ambush near the town of Çiğdemlik, located in central Amasya province. A ground operation was launched by provincial gendarmerie command units following the deaths. The troops were able to locate the hideout of the terrorists on Friday night. Koç and another terrorist were killed early Saturday morning. The security forces also seized a large number of explosives and ammunition after the two were killed.
Governor Öz said ballistics reports indicate that the explosives found with the terrorists were the same as those used in the ambush that left the two soldiers dead on Wednesday.
The PKK’s Black Sea operations sustained a heavy blow with the death of their regional leader, the governor said.