TURKEY – At least three Turkish Army soldiers were killed by a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari on Sunday.
According to information provided by the Anadolu agency, the military was protecting a team of workers who were working on the construction of a road in the Daglica district near the Iraqi border when they were surprised by a guided missile fired by the militants. In addition to the three dead, another soldier was wounded.
Since the 1980s, the PKK has held a guerrilla campaign on Turkish territory for more rights and autonomy for the country’s Kurdish population. However, the group is considered a terrorist organization by both Ankara and several other states, including Washington who hypocritically support their Syrian branch, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Southeastern Turkey is the region hardest hit by near-daily clashes between members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and security forces, which have already left tens of thousands dead.
Ankara hopes its allies will give more support to Turkey’s fight against the PKK and the YPG, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on a visit to Germany.
“In fact, the YPG are a Syrian armed wing of the PKK, and this is also confirmed by British and American intelligence services. Whatever their names, their main objective is to breach peace in the region and create new conflicts,” he said. “Ankara expects greater support from its allies in the fight against terrorists.”
On Wednesday, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli declared that “NATO countries” were not providing Turkey enough support in the fight against “terrorists who threaten their territorial integrity.”
For Ankara, the YPG should be understood as an extension of the PKK, seen by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization. However, the YPG have been an effective fighting force against ISIS, although relying on US airstrikes.