Turkey: 115 Kurds Killed in Recent Battles

Two Weeks of Attacks Targeted Town on Iraq Border

Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin today reported that 115 Kurds have been killed in their recent offensive against the town of Semdinli, along the Iraqi border, and the subsequent battles. All of the slain were termed “rebels.”

The most recent fighting has been Kurdish attacks, with Provincial governor Orhan Alimoglu reporting an attack on a military post near Gecimli, not far from the site of the main battles, which left 15 soldiers and five civilians wounded, and 22 of the attacking rebels were slain in the ensuing battle.

The 115 Kurds killed overall is the toll for the past two weeks, according to the minister, and includes not just those killed over this weekend but those killed in the ongoing fighting since the offensive was announced.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been increasingly active in recent months, with operations along the Iraqi and Syrian borders leading Turkey to threaten an invasion of Syria in retaliation. The PKK has shown a willingness to launch attacks deep into Turkish territory, hitting security forces in major cities. So far Turkey’s retaliation has been mostly limited to crackdowns on ethnic Kurdish areas within Turkey, but in the past they have shown a willingness to deploy abroad to hit Kurdish targets there as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.