39 PKK terrorists killed in large-scale military operations in Şemdinli

A Turkish security unit is conducting an operation against the terrorist PKK in Şemdinli district of Hakkari in June, 2010. (Photo: AA)

July 31, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:06:00

Turkish security forces have dealt a heavy blow to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in large-scale operations conducted in Hakkari's Şemdinli district, according to sources close to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The military has destroyed depots of food, munitions and medicine belonging to the terrorist group in Şemdinli and killed a total of 39 PKK terrorists since the operations began last week.

The Turkish military launched the large-scale operation in the area last week when PKK terrorists blocked the road of a village in the region and interrogated villagers. Troops from neighboring battalions were dispatched to the region. The security forces have continued to open fire from land and air at PKK targets in the rural parts of Yiğitler village in Şemdinli and in the Goman Mountains. In addition, Turkish fighter jets shelled targets of the terrorist organization in the Hakurk and Avaşin-Basyan areas in northern Iraq. Cobra and Sikorsky helicopters were also used in the operation.

Sources close to the military who wished to remain anonymous told Today’s Zaman that walkie-talkie conversations between the terrorists suggest that the PKK was in a state of panic in the aftermath of the military operation. They also said the PKK was hoping to kick off an uprising in southeastern Turkey similar to the Arab Spring and that the Turkish military had ruined its efforts with the operation.

In the meantime, security forces refused to allow some members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and members of civil society groups to enter the military operations area in Şemdinli, citing security reasons. Some BDP members, including Hakkari deputy Esat Canan, Van deputy Özdal Üçer, Hakkari Mayor Fadıl Bedirhanoğlu, Yüksekova Mayor Ercan Bora and provincial chairmen of the party, accompanied by members of some civil society groups, had wanted to enter the area to observe. Security forces, however, denied them entry, saying the operation against the terrorist PKK was still under way.

The BDP members filed a criminal complaint with the Şemdinli Public Prosecutor’s Office against the security forces for not allowing them to enter the area.