While Turkey and the Kurdish PKK have been fighting an on-again, off-again war for some 30 years, both sides had been enjoying a period of relative calm, two years into a ceasefire. That ceasefire ended on Friday with Turkish airstrikes against the PKK in Iraq, and has given way to more violence.
The PKK is presenting this as a Turkish declaration of war, and with Turkey launching several attacks in the week to follow it’s hard to disagree. President Erdogan has similarly dismissed the idea of the peace process resuming, saying the talks were “impossible.”
So PKK forces, many of whom are in northern Iraq, are bracing for more strikes, with a new round of serious unrest in the Kurdish areas around southeastern Turkey, saying they view Turkey’s new attacks as a “betrayal” against the Kurds in general.
The PKK isn’t simply waiting for Turkish strikes, either, with PKK forces attacking a Turkish Army battalion in Sirnak Province, killing at least three soldiers. One of the PKK fighters was also reported killed in the fighting, and Turkish forces are conducting searches in the surrounding area trying to locate the rest.