Does the U.S. really think we are stupid? Since Turkey and the U.S. reached a deal in August to establish a joint operations center in Turkey for the coordination and management of a planned "safe zone" in northern Syria, Ankara has welcomed the agreement, and has been expecting immediate action – despite Washington breaking many promises in the past in regards to Syria.
However, diplomatic tensions are escalating once again between the two countries because "Washington is stalling the implementation of an agreement to create a safe zone" said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sept. 10, adding that the recent acts by the U.S. are nothing but "cosmetic moves."
The safe zone was intended to create a peace corridor for Syrian refugees and cleanse the PKK terrorist group's Syrian branch, the People's Protection Units (YPG). But it looks like the U.S. is playing for time and seeking for a way to protect the YPG.
Suspicious US moves
Even though the U.S. military claimed the agreement was on track and we saw several joint U.S.-Turkish military patrols in northeastern Syria, Ankara is suspicious of the U.S. as the YPG has been given a lot of support from them in their so-called fight against Daesh – even though the U.S has designated the PKK as a terrorist organization.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made clear his patience was running thin on Tuesday. "Sending 50,000 trucks of equipment and ammunition to the [YPG] terrorists so far has really bothered us," he said. "Against who are these [weapons being] used? Against Turkey. It is not possible for us to accept this in a strategic partner," he stated.
Erdoğan was right, as the PKK used the weapons sent by the U.S. against Turkey which the U.S. has said were sent for fighting Daesh on the ground.
Erdoğan set a September deadline for Washington to fully implement the August military agreement. Ankara has since warned that it will unilaterally intervene in Syria if the U.S. doesn't comply.
As is known, Ankara has changed its priorities and strategies due to the increase of regional threats. So far, the policy shift, especially the fight against terror organizations has been significant.
Turkey's fight against the PKK has been shaped by new tactical and operational strategies on the ground. Preventing PKK terrorist attacks and blocking their main resources has become the leading step after PKK/YPG terror group gained strength due to the support of the U.S.
The security operations
Turkey's airstrikes and ground operations in Iraq and inside Turkey increased by about 200% in the last two years. Turkish security forces held more than 100,000 operations against the PKK, during which hundreds of PKK terrorists were eliminated.
Cross-border operations in northern Iraq, such as in the Qandil mountain region as well as locations that harbor PKK leadership, have been successful.
Turkish jets, drones and Fırtına mortars are being used in operations in Iraq. Turkey has seen success in the operations Claw 1 and Claw 2, which targeted the PKK in the northern Iraq.
The PKK's existence in Turkey, Syria and northern Iraq will remain the leading national security problem for Turkey unless the group lays down its arms and/or dissolves itself. But the truth is the PKK is not as strong as before when they had first started to get support from the U.S.
Civil protest grows
In the meantime, in Turkey, Kurdish families have started to protest outside the main office of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Diyarbakır, one of the most populous cities in Turkey's southeastern region.
The HDP is known as a political party with close links to the PKK. The families obviously have gotten courage as the Turkish state is getting positive results concerning the fight against the PKK.
The families say that the HDP helps the PKK terrorist organization recruit their children, using brainwashing tactics. They say they will continue sit-in protests until they get their children back.
That said the PKK's terror attacks in Turkey in the last 30 years have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people. It is widely known that the PKK recruits young men and women as foot soldiers, ripping apart their families using force.
The sit-in started on Aug. 22, when Hacire Akar, a Kurdish mother, stood outside the HDP building, asking for her son's release from the PKK stranglehold. The protest gained momentum with more than 25 families with similar stories joining Akar.
According to reports the PKK has a policy of recruiting child soldiers and the terror group has recruited 20,000 people under the age of 18 in the last 35 years. Most Kurdish families are accusing the HDP of being the political front of the PKK, facilitating the terror organization's recruitment of Kurdish youth and children.
With regards to the YPG in Syria, a 107-page Human Rights Watch report, namely "Under Kurdish Rule: Abuses in PYD-run enclaves of Syria," documents the use of children by the YPG, which is a violation of international law, among many other abuses. Has the U.S., which has supported the YPG cared about that? Of course not.
The deadly ambush
Sadly on Thursday, seven Kurdish civilians were killed after the PKK detonated an explosive on a road in the Kulp district of Diyarbakır. Officials had put the initial toll at four but hospital officials later said three more civilians succumbed to their injuries.
Ten others were wounded. It was an obvious message from the PKK to the Kurdish families. The terrorist group was warning the Kurds not to continue sit-ins and protests.
Many pundits in the West say that the PKK is fighting against Turkey as the representative of the Kurds and their cause is all about Kurdish rights. However they skip the part that the PKK has, in fact, been the biggest murderer of the Kurds.
Brief facts on the story
Let me give just one example of what they recently did in Turkey when they got the idea of carrying the Syrian civil war into Turkey.
On May 12, 2016, after the PKK decided to withdraw from the peace talks with Turkey and resumed warfare, 13 Kurds were killed in a blast detonated by the PKK on a road near Dürümlü in Diyarbakır.
The PKK said in a statement that the bomb exploded by mistake as the bomb-laden truck was going to Diyarbakır, as if 15 tons of explosives heading to a highly populated city was normal. Some of those explosives were hidden under the ground during the peace talks giving clues that they never had an intention of making peace, while the rest were carried through the Turkish-Syrian border from YPG stocks delivered by the U.S.-led coalition.
International news media groups, which have had an intriguing reputation for overlooking PKK terror and violence, reported on the horrible explosion as if it was just an accident and the PKK had no role in this tragedy.
However, the PKK was bolder. In the statement in question, the terrorist organization accused the civilians who lost their lives in the explosion of trying to stop the truck from entering Diyarbakır. Accordingly, those civilians were "state collaborators" – a term that is commonly used by the PKK to define the Kurds who resist them.
The explosion left a crater 5 meters deep and 35 meters wide on the road. If the explosives were to be successfully transferred, imagine the size of the explosion that would have been carried out in the city of Diyarbakır.
The remains of the 13 Kurds, who heroically stopped the truck, were collected in bags and buried. No bodies, no body parts, just 60 kilograms of blood and fluid were left of the 13 victims of the PKK, a violent terror group which argues that it is the one and only defender of the Kurdish cause.
A secessionist campaign
The PKK has used the same methods for more than four decades. In 1984, the secessionist PKK began carrying out warfare against Turkey. Its terrorist tactics have resulted in hundreds of civilian and military deaths.
I reiterate that I am not talking about how many Turks they killed for now as it looks like no one cares about that after so much worldwide propaganda on the PKK. Let me instead give some examples of the killing of Kurds by the PKK since the foundation of the terror organization.
It was not different three decades ago. For instance, it was 1992. In mid-March, PKK members hanged three people in the southeast of Turkey, mostly populated by Kurds; bank notes were stuffed in all of their mouths.
That was a common signal of the PKK that the terror group considered the victims state collaborators. On May 28, the PKK killed three Kurdish civilians, Hüsnü İşlek, Zubeyir Uçak and Celal Kaya, in a village in Bingöl province since they refused to cooperate with the PKK. The village residents were forced to watch the executions.
The goal was to teach a lesson. On May 29, the body of a village guard Hüseyin Aksoy, who was a Kurdish man kidnapped by the PKK, was found hanging on a utility pole on the road between Cizre and İdil. PKK militants executed another Kurd, Mehmet Daşdelen, in the village of Başkale in the Digor district of Kars on June 2 that year, alleging that he was a Turkish government supporter.
On the very same day, the body of another Kurd, Abdurrahman Ay, a member of the Motherland Party (ANAP) in the Turkish Parliament and a member of İdil's town council, was found hanging from a telephone pole in the Alakamış village; he was strangled with a rope.
On June 20, the body of Hamit Üren, another Kurd, was found hanging from a tree in the Uludere district of Şırnak. And the PKK never hesitated to take responsibility of those killings. If someone really cares about what the PKK really did, and how its Syria, Iraq and Iran branches copied its way of horror and terror, it is easy to find several reports, even in English, written by independent human rights groups.
Would you like me to stop or continue with what happened in 1992? The PKK killed 14 Kurdish villagers, nine of whom were children, and wounded eight others in raids in the villages of Seki in Batman province and in Güroymak in Bitlis province on June 22, 1992.
In late June, the terror group killed five Kurds, including a member of the village guard, in an attack on the Elmasırtı village in Bingöl province. On June 26, the PKK killed 10 Kurds at a mosque in Diyarbakır; 30 PKK members drove men from the mosque, tied their hands and shot them with automatic weapons.
On July 27, PKK militants stopped a bus near the Mazıdağ district of Mardin and killed a 55-year old Kurd, Kadir Kaya, whose son was a village guard.
The PKK raided the Aşkale village in Ağrı on Aug. 17 and executed 30-year-old Mahmut İncekaya, just because he did not support the PKK. The body of Kurdish Abdurrahman Akkuş, who was kidnapped by PKK militants on Sept. 9 from Yüzbaşılar village, was found hanging from a utility pole in Iğdır. A leaflet on the body stated that Akkuş had been killed "as he was an informer and a supporter of the state."
In late September that year, the PKK killed 29 people, including many women and children, in Cevizdalı in Bitlis province. The bodies of two Kurds, Nevzat Çiftçi and Ahmet Altınhan, both aged 22, were found in a field between the Danalı and Çevrimova villages in the Beşiri district of Batman on Oct. 8; they were killed by the PKK on charges of "betraying the organization."
Planting mines, assassinating people, kidnapping children, years-long abductions and detentions, drug trafficking, and much more; everything that the terror group is involved in is dirty. Of course, no one claims that the Kurds have not been repressed in the past.
It dates back to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The Kurdish language, Kurdish schools, Kurdish publications, Kurdish associations, Kurdish names and Kurdish music were banned.
However, President Erdoğan lifted those bans after the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power. He was the one who started a peace process aiming to stop the violence.
Even the former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said in 2012 that the PKK did nothing to help Kurdish citizens; on the contrary, they killed more Kurds than everyone else. However, those concrete facts are now like dust for the Americans.
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