Turkish jets hit PKK camps in Qandil, Zaho in Northern Iraq
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 11, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 11, 2016 12:00 am
Turkish airstrikes targeted and destroyed PKK sites in Northern Iraq after purging terrorist from several districts in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Diyarbakır.
Fighter jets hit camps in Zaho and Qandil, reportedly making at least four strikes on the targets on Wednesday.
The government launched its first ever airstrikes on the PKK since the cease-fire was announced on July 2, 2013. Since then, the government has been conducting airstrikes on PKK camps in the Qandil Mountain in Northern Iraq to terminate the threat the militants pose to Turkey.
Security forces are also continuing their operations in several districts while other operations have ended.
The operations launched in the Sur district of Diyarbakır province ended on Wednesday, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said. Sur was one of a series of towns and neighborhoods targeted in counterterrorism operations to root out the PKK.
According to a statement released by the General Staff yesterday, 279 terrorists were killed and 365 explosive devices defused in Sur since the operation began. Some 206 barricades were also removed and 504 weapons together with 48,048 bullets and 3,470 kilograms of bomb-making material were seized, the statement added.
Despite the end of some operations, the curfew in the district that was imposed for security reasons continues.
PKK terrorists fired on security forces in Sur on Thursday, causing panic because a committee involving the chief prosecutor, province deputy governors and provincial police chief was conducting an examination in the vicinity of the clashes where Tahir Elçi, the former head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, was murdered.
The security forces returned fire and killed four of the terrorists, the media reported.
The clashes between the PKK and police lasted about five minutes, after which the committee was evacuated.
The incident occurred around a historic mosque near where Elçi was shot. The committee was reportedly there for a while before the clash erupted.
There is no information on whether the PKK purposefully directed fire at the committee or not.
Speaking to the Milliyet daily on Wednesday, Ala said they would regulate a system that is similar to the guardianship system with security forces patrolling the streets and neighborhoods in the southeast that will be more visible during the evening in order to make locals feel safe.
"Police centers that will serve for preventative safety measures in the neighborhoods will be established together with the increasing numbers of village guards and gendarmerie forces in several other places," he said.
"Namely, the mechanisms and the officers that will serve to provide public order and security street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, will be determined."
The southeast has been the scene of significant military operations since December 2015 as security forces clear urban centers of the PKK. The group is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU. It renewed its armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July 2015.