Turkish forces have neutralized the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) intelligence head Metin Arslan in northern Iraq, the Anadolu Agency reported on January 3, citing Turkish security sources.
According to the sources, Arslan, known by his nom de guerre Kocer, is the cousin of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, who is currently imprisoned in Turkey.
The sources didn’t provide any details on the fate of Arslan. Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply that the person in question was killed or captured.
Arslan, 52, has been on the Turkish Interior Ministry’s most wanted list for several years. Ankara claims that the PKK commander is responsible for several terrorist attacks. Two years ago, it was claimed that he was injured in a Turkish airstrike on northern Syria.
The PKK has not commented on the Turkish claims regarding Arslan, so far. The group usually acknowledge any losses in its leadership.
In the last few months, Turkey stepped up its operations against the PKK in the northern part of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Despite this, the Kurdish guerrilla group is still active near the Turkish-Iraqi border, carrying attacks against Turkish troops there on a regular basis.