Syrian War Report – November 14, 2018: Turkish-PKK Conflict Escalates Amid Fresh PKK Attacks

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The People’s Defense Forces (HPG), a military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed that it had attacked 6 military bases in the southern Turkish provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak on November 9 and November 10. The HPG stated that 17 Turkish soldiers were killed and 32 others were wounded as a result of the attack. 8 soldiers are also missing, according to the HPG.

It should be noted that early on November 10 that the PKK also carried out an attack on several targets inside and south of the capital of Sirnak province with seven armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to Turkish sources, the UAVs failed to reach their targets due to technical failures and possible jamming by the Turkish military.

The province of Sirnak borders both northern Syria and Iraq. An interesting thing is that the recent PKK attacks confirm multiple Turkish statements that Kurdish armed groups operating in these areas, mostly the People’s Protection Units (YPG), pose a direct threat to the Turkish national security.

On November 13, 4 members of YPG-affiliated security forces were killed in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency Amaq.

Manbij as well as the YPG-held areas east of the Euphrates River have been repeatedly described by Turkish leadership as a target of the upcoming anti-YPG operation. In late October, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) delivered several strikes on YPG positions near the town of Kobani and deployed additional troops and equipment in southern Turksih provinces bordering the YPG-held area.

In November, Saif Abu Bakr, Military Chief of the Turkish-backed militant group Hamza Division, declared that members of his group are ready to participate in a large-scale operation against the YPG east of the Euphrates.

The YPG is the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The US support to the SDF is the reason of constant tensions between Ankara and Washington. For example, on November 12, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu slammed the US “double-faced policy” towards Turkey addressing the continued US support to Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria. He also said that the US receives 20% of the YPG revenue from the oil fields seized in the war-torn country.

If the US continues its political and military support to the YPG and the group will consolidate its power over the Arab areas captured in northeastern Syria setting a foothold for further PKK attacks on targets in southern Turkey, the Ankara-Washington relations will likely deteriorate further.

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  • Sakaramanga

    ”How can we create a Kurdish state controlled by Zio-US (2nd Israel) in the middle east and give control of the oil-rich land to the Zionist Oligarchs”

    is the only question or motive that drives US Gov’t. (or shall we say the only orders that they got from The Elite).

    Thus US dont care about civillians living in the Middle East, their civilization. Nor do they care about its (US) own soldiers (US does not care about what is beneficial to US, if it conflicts with the orders they got).

    PKK exists since early 80’s and is in the US terrorist organizations list. But YPG (another name for PKK in Syria) is not. how? (see above). SDF is yet another -pretty- name CIA have come up with. They are openly supported by the US who are definitely not a peacemaker group.

    How long will Turkey stay under the commands and control of the US, I don’t know. Turkey is so much dependent to them and has a highly vulnerable economy. On top I imagine there is a plenty of infiltrated US spies in all Institutions accumulated since TR entering into NATO early 1950’s.

  • You can call me Al

    Gee Turkeys, are you just learning that the US cannot be trusted ?.

    Anyway, fuck off with your hypocrisy, both of you speak with a forked tongue.

  • S Melanson

    I am suspicious of the attacks being PKK. It provides the justification for Turkey to go in like they did in Afrin. The convenience of the timing for Erdogan who has warned Turkey would not tolerate Kurdish forces on Turkeys borders. Turkey can now point to these attacks as confirming the threat posed to Turkey as noted in the article above. The US could say Kurds brought it on themselves by attacking Turkey and so like Afrin, not come to Kurds aid.

  • R Trojson

    As we watch Turkey try to increase their chunk. Who has what at this point?
    Russia- 55%
    Kurdistan- 35%
    Turkey- 10%
    ISIS- 5%
    US- 5%

  • Harsha

    https://twitter.com/GissiSim/status/1061993680159080448

    PKK is now claiming this large blast at a Turkish military base. Say they did it with a drone, dropping explosives on an ammo dump.