Written by N.Babic; published at AlterMainstreamInfo, translated by Mario Andrijasevic exclusively for SouthFront
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday pledged “not to suspend the military campaign in the southeast, where Turkish security forces last year killed 3,000 Kurdish militants”. In a New Year address to the nation Erdogan said Turkey has “the resources and determination” to defeat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Our security forces continue to cleanse every place of the terrorists in the mountains and cities, and it will continue to do so,” referring to the PKK said Erdogan.
Turkey has launched a so-called “synchronized war on terrorism” in July, but mainly focused on Kurdish militants at home and directed all the efforts, rather than to fight terrorists “Islamic State”, against the PKK.
Turkish Kurdistan is a scene of conflict that is turning into a real civil war and this level of hostilities has not been seen since the 90´s.
Warplanes have bombed PKK camps in southeastern Turkey and across the border in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, while thousands of soldiers supported by tanks for the last few weeks are fighting within Turkey and want to flush out the Kurdish fighters from the area.
Erdogan said that the Turkish army since the beginning of 2015 killed 3,100 PKK militants inside and outside the country, but Ankara hides the truth about numerous loses among the civilian population and the fact the Kurds are very determined and well prepared for street fighting.
The PKK had previously led the fight mainly in the villages, but the latest clashes are taking place in urban areas where Kurdish fighters have set up barricades and dug trenches while trying to prevent Turkish security forces from entering areas under their control.
Residents in Kurdish cities such as Cizre and Silopi, where the last few weeks are echoing explosions and gunfire, complain that the military operations are carried out indiscriminately, that they are forced to leave the area of conflict and that the sick cannot even reach the hospital.
Turkey, the EU and the US consider the PKK as a terrorist organization, but the image of Kurdish fighters in the West improved since the allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the Syrian Kurdish National Protection Unit (YPG), are fighting against the so-called “Islamic State”.
Human Rights Watch Report from 23rd December urges the Turkish authorities to suspend security operations in Turkish Kurdistan and warned Ankara about the growing number of casualties among civilians, reports Ekurd.net.