Kurdistan Workers’ Party attacks Turkish base in Hakkari, kills over 30 soldiers

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Kurdish fighters of the PKK during a funeral of fellow fighters in southeastern Turkey. File photo

ARA News

Cizre Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels assaulted a major Turkish army base in Hakkari Province, military sources reported on Saturday.

Kurdish rebels lobbed mortar shells into the base and perforated its defenses with heavy machine gun rounds, before withdrawing back into Çelê District’s mountainous frontier.

According to military sources, at least 34 Turkish soldiers were killed in the attack. Citing the Turkish military, Reuters reported that at least 20 Kurdish rebels had also died.

The PKK leadership told ARA News that the assault was a reprisal for military incursions into Kurdish villages in Hakkari Province. Hakkari is located in southeastern Turkey, abutting the border with Iraq.

“Unless there is a political solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey, the armed conflict will continue and intensify,” Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist Omran Mansour told ARA News.

The Kurdish activist said that the Turkish government “had eliminated all chances for dialogue with the Kurds, especially after arresting Kurdish MPs and members of the [People’s Democratic Party].”

Mansour added that the recent PKK operations have been focused on the Turkish military and security installations. “However, we still support dialogue and peaceful negotiations to stop human rights violations in the Kurdish region,” he said.

“The government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists on using force against Kurdish villages and towns,” Mansour reasoned. “[This] will lead to a further intensification of violence across the country.”

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri and Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News

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