Kurdish War: Bloody Cease Fire


March 5, 2007: No, it's not much of a ceasefire. The Turkish government claimed that in the past two months the PKK has launched 72 attacks on Turkish security forces. Since the PKK declared a ceasefire on October 1, 2006, six members of the Turkish security forces have died in PKK attacks, while 32 were wounded. Turkish forces carried out 159 operations against the PKK, killing 22 rebels. 267 were captured.

Turkey claimed that the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) terrorist group (a faction of the PKK) is once again threatening to strike tourist centers in Turkey. The attacks would target European visitors. The TAK is upset that France and Belgium cracked down on PKK militants in early February.

March 2, 2007: Turkish police and security troops (including gendarmes) went on "high alert" in anticipation of attacks by the PKK. The Turks believe the PKK will attack "Nevruz" celebrations in and around the Turkish capital of Ankara. Nevruz is celebrated on March 21. The government said that the PKK specifically planned on conducting bomb attacks.

February 26, 2007: Iraq's President Jalal Talabani said that Iraq's major Kurdish parties have never supported the PKK and have in fact cooperated with Turkey against the PKK. Talabani, after a Kurd leadership meeting in Iraq, said that Iraqi Kurds want to have good relations with Turkey. Talabani said Iraq's Kurds are urging the PKK to continue to observe a ceasefire with Turkey. Iraqi Kurds also advocate "a political solution" to Turkey's war with the PKK. Talabani, however, remains firmly opposed to a Turkish anti-PKK military operation inside Iraq. Talabani's statement was a reply to the February 17, 2007 claim by a senior Turkish Army general that Iraq's KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) supported the PKK. Interestingly enough, Turkey's foreign minister disavowed the Army general's comments. Nevertheless, it is clear that Turkey's military is skeptical about Iraqi and US claims that they are trying to bring the PKK to heel. One thing the Turkish military would like to see is Iraqi security personnel patrolling the Iraqi side of the Turkey-Iraq border and helping Turkish security thwart the PKK.


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