Reports of leading senior PKK leader killed in Syria not confirmed
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 12, 2016 12:00 am
Ankara has not been able to confirm reports that one of the main leaders of PKK's armed branch was killed in Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday, in what would be a major blow to the PKK.
Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday that a Syrian opposition group had killed Fehman Huseyin – a Syrian Kurd known in Turkey by the name Bahoz Erdal – and his bodyguards in a bombing on Friday as he was going to the northern Syrian city of Qamishli.
"There is information from various news and intelligence channels saying Bahoz Erdal was killed, but this information has not yet been confirmed," Kurtulmuş told a news conference.
Born in 1969, Hüseyin is a Syrian Kurd who studied medicine at university – thus nicknamed 'Doctor' – in Damascus. Following PKK's leader Abdullah Öcalan's capture in 1999, he shared the leadership of the terrorist organization with Murat Karayılan and Cemil Bayık and was among the figures included in Turkey's most wanted list. He commanded the armed branch HPG particularly and known as the mastermind of bloody attacks against Dağlıca and Aktütün military outposts.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Hüseyin has reportedly served as the main intermediary between PKK leadership and PYD, which is regarded by Turkey as the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist group.
Known for his opposition to dialogue and peace negotiations with the Turkish state, Hüseyin was also the alleged leader of Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) group, which is claimed to have split from PKK to pursue more violent tactics. TAK also deliberately targets Turkish resort towns and historic landmarks to hinder Turkey's tourism sector.