New evidence supporting the links between the PKK terror organization and its Syria offshoot the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG) has recently emerged in the Nusaybin district of Turkey's southeastern Mardin province.
On Thursday, a 400-meter tunnel, dug by the militants of the PKK terror group 7 meters below ground, was exposed by security forces in Nusaybin below the border line between Turkey and Syria. The 1.5-meter-diameter tunnel, which stretches mostly through the Qamisli district on the Syrian side, was reportedly used for logistical purposes, as well as for transferring militants between the PKK and YPG. According to information released by the Mardin Governorate, the tunnel was found and later destroyed through coordination between the Turkish police, military, and the intelligence units. The terrorists reportedly built the tunnel, as an alternative way to pass through the border, after Turkey intensified border security measures, including the building of a wall between Syria and Turkey, a step also taken to minimize the passing of Daesh terrorists into Turkey.
Despite evidence of links and exposed evidence between the PKK terror organization – established in 1984 and recognized by the U.S. and EU as a terror organization – and the PYD-YPG, the U.S. and EU continue to support the group in Syria.
The U.S. considers the PYD as an effective force in the fight against Daesh in Syria while Turkey, a NATO ally of the U.S., argues that as a result of the ideological and organizational links between the groups, U.S. support for the PYD-YPG transfers directly to the PKK and is used against the Turkish state and its people. Moreover, the PYD also commits crimes against local Arab and Turkmen residents in areas under Daesh control, which Turkey argues the West fails to acknowledge. Ankara has repeatedly argued that a terror group cannot be defeated by another terror group. Turkish politicians has also blamed the West for remaining silent to PKK and Daesh terror attacks in Turkey while supporting the YPG under the pretext of fighting Daesh.
Recent evidence also revealed that two PKK terrorists sought by Turkey were identified as fighters in a statement released by the YPG. On Nov. 1, the YPG stated that Vahdettin Uyanık and Şerifa Naşa were among 22 YPG members who were recently killed in clashes across Syria. Sources close to Turkish intelligence indicated that the Turkish Ministry of Interior issued international arrest warrants for both terrorists, offering TL 300,000 ($97,000) for the capture of each. On Sept. 11, Turkish security forces found YPG identity cards, among the seized documents and other materials, during their operations against the PKK terrorist group conducted in Çukurca district of southwestern Hakkari province.
Both the PKK and the PYD-YPG function under the umbrella network of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), which is led by the imprisoned terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan. While Saleh Muslim leads the PYD, Cemil Bayık is the lead figure for the PKK. Although the PKK was headquartered in Syria until 1998, currently, the PKK is controlled from headquarters in Northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains.
The KCK terrorist groups function under the names of the PKK in Turkey, the PÇDK in Iraq, the PYD in Syria and PJAK in Iran. The PKK renewed its violent campaign in Turkey after a Daesh attack on July 20 in the southeastern district of Suruç which left a dozen people killed. The subsequent PKK-linked murder of two Turkish police officers at their homes sparked a new wave of conflict in the country, which saw a short-lived calm period during reconciliation process talks launched in 2013 between the government and the PKK.
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