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PKK executed 13 Turkish hostages.

Image Credit: AA File Photo

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) executed 13 Turkish hostages in a special PKK cave in Gara region, Iraq. The cave served as a PKK prison. As one would expect, this has caused anger in Turkey, as the country has claimed that they were just civilians. PKK said that they were all soldiers or police officers. Their bodies were found during a Turkish operation in Iraq against the PKK that started last week. Most of the hostages have been held captive with the PKK since 2015, and all but one were found with a single bullet in the head.

Turkey, EU and US designates PKK as a terrorist organization, and has been launching ground and air attacks on PKK positions for several years. In a cross-border operation that started last Wednesday, Turkey lost three troops, while the PKK lost 48 fighters.

In response to the execution of the hostages, Turkey was considering a wide-scale operation. However, a military expert said the chances for a huge operation are slim as the Winter is harsh in the region.

However, I don’t expect a bigger operation in the region for now. The winter conditions are so hard there to sustain any military move.

Military expert.

Operations to free Turkish hostages from the PKK are usually mediated through pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), but given its ties to PKK it has become increasingly difficult. Bill Parker, an analyst at King’s College London explains,

Turkish forces are now occupying a couple of villages lower down from the Gara mountain hideout, through which PKK fighters and their supplies have to move. The Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) seems to be going along with it, because they are dependent on Turkey in many ways and because they also don’t welcome the PKK presence. But it is evident that they are also embarrassed, as local Iraqi Kurds don’t welcome Turkey’s presence and often suffer from its bombing and other raids.

Bill Parker.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan which has been closer to PKK than Turkey, has criticized harshly the Turkish attacks on PKK villages in Syria and Iraq.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at US for its continued support of PKK by supplying weapons to the terrorist group

The U.S. has given them weapons and they have fought against us. If we are going to be together within NATO, you will side with us, not terrorists.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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