Turkey to continue war on Kurdish rebels, Erdogan says

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Kurdish people celebrating Newroz Day in Diyarbakir city in southeastern Turkey. File photo

ARA News 

ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Wednesday to continue the military campaign against rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), after his ruling party came back to power in a parliamentary elections days ago, Turkish media sources reported. 

“We are determined to continue the anti-terrorism operations inside and outside the country,” he said. “No break; we will keep on.” 

The Turkish military said that two Turkish soldiers were killed Wednesday in fighting with PKK rebels in a southeastern town near the Iraqi borderline.

On Wednesday, Turkish warplanes renewed airstrikes on Kurdish rebel’s targets in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, the army said in a statement.

“We have destroyed some 16 targets of the terrorists in airstrikes,” the statement read, referring to the Kurdish PKK rebels. 

The Turkish army lost two other soldiers in Tuesday’s operations on Turkey’s Daglica region near the Iraqi border.

On Monday, similar strikes hit the PKK’s positions, one day after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) returned to power subsequent to early elections.  

On Tuesday, four Kurdish rebels were killed after clashes with Turkish security forces in several parts of the restive southeast, local activists told ARA News.

Ankara ruled out any resumption of the peace process with the PKK, especially after a renewed surge of violence swept Turkey’s southeast in July. 

Speaking to ARA News in Amed, Kurdish activist Milad Kurdoglu said that one of the Kurdish protesters was killed Wednesday in clashes with the security forces in southeastern Turkey, as violence escalated days after a general election.

“A Kurdish young man was shot dead in the town of Silvan, while a 24-hour curfew was ordered by the military in three neighborhoods for a second successive day,” he added, pointing out “the clashes between security forces and the PKK’s loyalists continued all the day”.

“Two other Kurdish men were killed in Yuksekova, some 450 km (280 miles) to the east,” Kurdoglu told ARA News. 

The PKK rebels are listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the E.U., after taking up arms in 1984. The PKK-Turkey conflict has caused the death of more than 40,000 people over the past three decades.

The conflict has also caused Turkey great economic losses as well as high damage to the Kurdish population. Although there was a unilateral cease-fire lasted from 1999 to 2004, the conflicting parties failed to reach an agreement. In 2013, a truce was working until September 2014, when it ended because of involvement in the Syrian war. 

Reporting by: Egid Yousef

Source: ARA News

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