A PKK soldier stands in front of a crowd gathered in the Qandil mountains. Credit: Karlos Zurutuza
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Urfa, Turkey – On Saturday, the Turkish army sent Special Forces and reconnaissance planes and helicopters to the state of Ağrı east of the country, after four soldiers were injured in clashes with the Kurdistan Workers Party’s (PKK) fighters.
The chief of staff of the Turkish army said in a statement that the fighting was concentrated in the countyside of Ziadin in the Agri area near the border with Iran. The Turkish government said in another statement that the PKK rebels are trying to destabilize the country before the upcoming scheduled parliamentary elections in June 2015.
The Turkish General Staff stated: “The terrorists (in reference to PKK) opened fire on our troops, who responded immediately with fire. We sent reconnaissance planes, helicopters and additional reinforcements, including Special Forces to the region where battles continue.”
The PKK did not declare responsibility for the hostilities.
Speaking to ARA News, the Kurdish activist Farhad Hamo said that the timing of these military operations is “suspicious”, especially since the peace process between Turkey and the PKK is at a critical stage, considering the approaching Turkish parliamentary elections.
Hamo pointed out that the return of tension and clashes to southeastern Turkey will serve the Turkish military institution directly, and those parties rejecting the peace process indirectly.
The PKK has been engaged in conflict with the Turkish state for decades, a conflict that claimed lives of more than 40,000 people on both sides in addition to the destruction and burning of thousands of Kurdish villages in the southeastern areas of the country, before the announcement of the cease-fire about a year ago to start a political solution.
Reporting by: Jean Nasro
Source: ARA News