Murat Karayılan, one of the top officials of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said that the clashes that erupted between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops after the large scale military campaign launched by Turkey in mid April have turned into a battle far fiercer than reflected in the media, with many casualties not reported.
Speaking to Fırat News Agency, PKK executive committee member said:
“There is a full scale war going on out there. A war in a 60 km wide conflict area between Avasin and Metina. Our fighters have close contact with enemy troops, positioned not more than 100 m apart, in at least 50 locations. It’s an intense battle. We are pursuing a new tactic. We are not withdrawing. We also have fighters behind the enemy positions as well. For instance, while clashes continue in Kurojahro, there are clashes also in nearby Nêrwe mountain pass. There are also clashes both in Werxelê and Şûkê Bûrê. They are all meshed up. There are constant clashes in 15 to 20 km wide areas. I must add that all this is accompanied by a continuous, heavy bombardment.”
“It looks like the enemy made preparations and intended to have a definite victory this time. They made political and diplomatic preparations. They made preparations both in diplomatic and military terms to silence parties in South Kurdistan and to even secure their collaboration, to silence the Iraqi administration and to get the approval of foreign states.”
Karayılan also said that Turkey has had to dispatch forces allocated for a planned Turkish incursion into north Syria to its campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan as Turkish troops have been unable to make the expected progress in the first three months despite their technological and logistical superiority and use of banned weapons.
He accused the Turkish military of using chemical, tactical nuclear and thermobaric weapons in the campaign.