Turkish forces kill Kurdish rebels crossing from Syria

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, June 15, 2012

Turkish security forces have shot dead four Kurdish rebels who had crossed into southeastern Turkey from Syria, local officials said late on Thursday.

A firefight erupted when the rebels were discovered crossing across the Syrian border into the town of Alakamis in the Sirnak province late on Wednesday, the local governor's office said in a statement.

The two sides opened fire after the four refused to surrender, it said, adding that the men were high-ranking members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Clashes have intensified in recent months, mostly along Turkey's frontier with Iraq, where Kurdish rebels are said to be largely based in rugged terrain.

Among the most deadliest incidents was a large-scale PKK operation in October 2011 that killed 24 Turkish soldiers, while a Turkish airstrike in December massacred 35 Kurdish civilians, which Ankara excused as an error.

Turkey regularly launches air raids on northern Iraq, where it believes PKK bases are largely located.

Syria had banned the PKK from operating within its territory when it held warm ties with Ankara.

But Damascus may be turning a blind eye to PKK activities on its soil following a sharp deterioration in ties with Turkey due to the Syrian crisis, and Ankara's hosting of Syrian rebels.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)


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