Turkey-PKK conflict may cause a humanitarian crisis in besieged town near Diyarbakir

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Young fighters of the PKK-linked YDG-H in Silvan. File photo

ARA News

ISTANBUL – As violence resumed between the Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the situation escalated dramatically in southeastern the country causing deterioration in the humanitarian conditions.

Backed by tanks and military helicopters, Turkish security forces carried out a new military operation against the PKK rebels in the bumped town of Silvan in Diyarbakir –which has been under army siege for more than a week. 

Local officials warned that the mostly Kurdish town is facing dire shortage of water, food and electricity.

Speaking to ARA News in Diyarbakir, media activist Shervan Kurtoglu said that two security troops were killed in clashes with the PKK fighters.

“Four more soldiers were injured in the clashes,” he added, pointing out that five PKK rebels have been killed since Wednesday. 

In the meantime, Diyarbakir governor’s office said in a statement: “We are determined to continue operations against terrorists (in reference to PKK insurgents).”

In Ankara, a funeral ceremony for a dead soldier was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. 

Burial ceremonies have become regular scenes since Turkey launched its “anti-terrorism war” against PKK rebels.

Hundreds of people have been killed in southeastern Turkey since July, after the collapse of a two-year-old truce between Turkish authorities and PKK rebels. 

Last week, the PKK ended a unilateral truce it had declared before the general elections of November 1, in which the Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won with a majority. 

Following elections, Erdogan vowed to continue the fight against the PKK until the elimination of the last insurgent of the group. 

Since the PKK took up arms in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed demanding an independent state for Kurds. But after the arrest of its leader Abdullah Ocalan, the rebel group has demanded only an autonomy and cultural rights, ruling out an independent “nation state”. 

Reporting by: Egid Yousef

Source: ARA News

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