Kurd rebels storm Turkey border post, 22 killed

Kurdish rebels stormed a Turkish army post on the Iraq border Sunday, triggering fighting that killed 22 people in the latest clash since Ankara launched a major offensive against the outlawed PKK.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack as a "dastardly" act and warned that Turkey had the strength to deal not just with the the rebels, but with those countries that supported them.

Six soldiers, two village guards and 14 Kurdish rebels were killed following the assault on an army post in a village in the southeastern province of Hakkari, the local governor told the Anatolia news agency.

Three of the slain rebels were women, said governor Orhan Alimoglu.

Another 15 soldiers, one village guard and five civilians were wounded, said a statement from the governor's office cited by Anatolia.

The rebels, from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), had launched simultaneous assaults on three border posts.

All the casualties occurred at a post in the village of Gecimli, private station NTV television reported.

It was the deadliest clash since June when fighting between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels left 28 people dead following a similar attack on an army post in the same region.

Erdogan, in a statement posted on the prime minister's office website, denounced Sunday's attack as a "dastardly" act.

"Terror is doomed to failure ... sooner or later," he said.

And he warned that Turkey had the strength to bring into line not only the PKK but also "hostile countries and environs that hold in their hands the terrorist organisation's strings."

He did not name those countries.

But Erdogan has in recent weeks accused the regime in Syria of giving Kurdish rebels a free hand in the north of the country and warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike "terrorists".

On Sunday, Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin told Anatolia that 115 Kurdish insurgents had so far been killed in an operation launched in Semdinli on July 23-24 against Kurdish militants.

He said the security forces had taken measures to stop PKK fighter fleeing to northern Iraq, where they have bases.

A series of PKK assaults against troops in the Kurdish-dominated southeast prompted the army to launch the major ground and air offensive against PKK bases in the region last month.

Erdogan told ATV television on Sunday that the operation would not stop unless the PKK laid down its arms.

Following the latest violence, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) called for an emergency session in the parliament.

He called on the government to provide more details on the Semdinli operation.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in the southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Turkey's latest offensive against the PKK comes as Kurds in northern Syria are reported to have taken control of some regions as fighting escalates in the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Reports that the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK's Syrian ally, controls parts of northern Syria has alarmed Ankara.

Turkey has massed a tanks, weapons and ground-to-air missile batteries on the border with Syria and staged military drills in recent weeks.

Ties between one-time allies Ankara and Damascus have soured since Assad's regime launched a brutal crackdown on dissent in March last year.

Relations hit an all-time low after a Turkish fighter jet was brought down by Syrian fire in June, killing its two pilots and leading Ankara to brand Damascus a "hostile" opponent.

Damascus in turn has accused Ankara of supporting "terrorists" to bring down the Syrian regime -- a reference to the Free Syrian Army of defecting soldiers, which has a base on the Turkish side of the border.

Last week, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited northern Iraq for talks with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani about the situation in northern Syria.

"The new Syria should be free of any terrorist and extremist group or organisation," the two said in a rare joint statement.

Although Turkey has built ties with the Kurdish regional government in the north of Iraq, Ankara is opposed to the idea of a separate Kurdish state.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options