Captured suspect behind PKK's talks with Israel, US

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 04.02.2019 00:07

Turkish media outlets quoting security sources said that Davut Baghestani, a senior figure of the PKK/KCK terrorist group, worked as an intermediary for the group in its talks with Israel and the United States.

Officials announced on Saturday that Baghestani, who was carrying a fake ID, was captured along with three others in a PKK hideout in Adana, a southern Turkish province. Baghestani was taken to neighboring Mersin province where prosecutors had sought his arrest earlier on terror charges, he was still being questioned when Daily Sabah went to print yesterday. Baghestani has had connections with the so-called executive council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which serves as an umbrella body of the PKK terrorist group and its Syrian and Iranian offshoots, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), in addition to various armed, youth and women's organizations.

He is also accused of organizing the terrorist group's activities in Mersin and Adana in the past. He was thought to have been killed, but emerged as one of the founders of a new party founded in the Syrian city of Raqqa by people affiliated with the PKK. Demirören News Agency said Baghestani was spotted addressing PKK militants in the terrorist group's camps in Iraq in recent years and spread pro-PKK propaganda online. He also served as head of the Israeli-Kurdish Institute linked to the terrorist group and penned articles favoring the terrorist group in Israeli publications associated with the group.

The PKK, which is behind a campaign of terror targeting Turkey since the 1980s, is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. It has been responsible for deaths of tens of thousands of people including women and children since the group emerged as one of the deadliest terrorist organizations particularly focusing on Turkey's southeastern and eastern regions. It operates under different names in different countries and serves as an umbrella body of newer terrorist groups in the region, including the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. The United States is known for its open support of the YPG under the pretext of fighting Daesh, another terrorist group active in Syria, much to Turkey's ire which seeks to weed out the YPG threat from its borders with Syria.

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