Overview on the situation in SouthEast Turkey – Hakkari, Mardin & Sirnak provinces – Turkey’s campaign against PKK
The Turkish/PKK conflict had started more than 30 years ago, as ceasefire and truce agreements were signed several times during this ongoing conflict. After the bomb attack (by ISIS) against Kurdish movement in the city of Suruc near the Syrian borders, PKK militants launched an attack in the city of Ceylanpinar, killing 2 Turkish policemen. The Turkish government considered this actions as an end for the truce agreement, and launched new campaign against the PKK and their allies in South East Turkey and Northern Iraq (KRG).
Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK) are controlling large parts of Daglica Mount, which is considered as their stronghold in Hakkari province. In September 6, a Turkish military convoy was ambushed by HPG fighters in the area, killing between 15 to 30 soldiers, as “Hurriyet” (Turkish source) confirmed that 16 were killed, buried in Van city in September 8.
The Turkish army sending reinforcements to Hakkari’s countryside (mainly near Yuksekova, Semdinli and the border town of Cukurca), trying to secure the roads between those cities, especially after the recent HPG’s ambush. Several areas were attacked by airstrikes. Tensions still taking place time by time in both of Hakkari and Yuksekova cities.
Reports about surprise attack by PKK from the Iraqi’s KRG borders in the past days, followed by clashes between PKK fighters and Turkish Jandarma forces for few hours; the Turkish Jandarma forces were able to secure the city later.
Semdinli city is controlled by the Turkish security forces, as clashes taking place in the near mountains.
Both of Mardin and Kiziltepe cities are controlled by the Turkish security forces. Kurdish armed groups (mainly PKK) were able to launch several attacks in the past days and weeks against the Turkish police, leaving many deaths among policemen and civilians.
Clashes are taking place in the countryside of Mardin, as some vehicles of Turkish security forces were ambushed near the city of Mardin by Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK), number of Turkish soldiers reportedly killed.
Tensions taking place in and around the border city of Nusaybin, since the city is almost controlled by Kurdish armed groups (mainly YDG-H / PKK). YDG-H fighters are digging trenches in the streets of the city, in order to prevent the Turkish security forces from entering the neighborhoods. No recent clashes reported in the city so far.
Sirnak city is almost controlled by the Turkish security forces, as few clashes reported in the past weeks and days between policemen and YDG-H fighters.
Reports in the past days about several attacks by Kurdish armed groups (mainly HPG / PKK) against governmental buses and trucks, and army vehicles on the road between Sirnak and Cizre.
Kurdish fighters from YDG-H (PKK) are controlling some areas in the city of Cizre, and launched several attacks in the past weeks. YDG-H fighters are using barriers and digging trenches in order to prevent Turkish security forces from entering their areas. The situation in the city of Cizre has calmed recently (mainly in Cudi, Yafes and Nur neighborhoods), no clashes reported so far.
The situation in the city of Silopi is very similar to Cizre, as YDG-H fighters are also launching attacks against Turkish security forces vehicles.
*Thanks to Yuunus Kurdistani (from Stêrk TV) for providing some information about the latest movements in South East Turkey.