Turkish army intensifies operations in Kurdish provinces of Diyarbakir, Şırnak

Mourners gathered around the coffins of 16 people killed during a Turkish army curfew in the Kurdish town of Cizre. (AFP Photo/Ilyas Akengin)

ARA News

URFA – Clashes renewed in southeastern Turkey on Monday between army forces and Kurdish rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish army confirmed in a statement the death of 10 PKK fighters and one of its own in fresh clashes in the provinces of Şırnak and Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. 

In Diyarbakir, clashes broke out in the district of Sur, where the Kurdish PKK rebels killed at least one Turkish soldier.

In Şırnak, similar clashes took place in the towns of Cizre and Silopi. The Turkish army announced the death of ten PKK fighters there.

This comes as the PKK fighters try to break the army siege on the Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey, which claimed lives of more than 20 civilians in the past two weeks, while tens of thousands others suffer a sharp shortage of food, water and electricity. 

The Turkish army said that 195 PKK rebels were killed in the recent operations in Şırnak.

However, local sources argued that the Turkish operations aim at punishing the entire Kurdish population in the region for alleged cooperation with the PKK.

“The Turkish government tries to cover its crimes against humanity by announcing the death of so many PKK fighters,” a Kurdish media activist told ARA News in Cizre.

“People are suffering the most under the current siege and curfew. There are wounded civilians who need treatment and dead people who must be buried. The government avoids mentioning the humanitarian crisis in Cizre and Silopi to justify its military operations under the pretext of fighting the PKK,” he concluded.  

Reporting by: Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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