”It is very important to state that the Gare operation was planned, prepared and symbolically organised to coincide with the anniversary of the 15 February,” writes Sara Aktaş for the Yeni Özgür Politika.
On 8 February, President Tayyip Erdoğan said, “I especially recommend you to watch my speech to the nation on Wednesday. I will announce a gospel. [Good news]”
Two days later, on 10 February, Turkey launched an airstrike attack on the Garê region with very strategic goals. The name of the operation was dubbed as Operation Claw Eagle-2, and the aim was to rescue captive soldiers and officials in the hands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, it was presented as ‘the leaders arrested’.
Undoubtedly, the government attributed this operation a special ‘golden strike’ status in political discourse.
Four days later, on 14 February, Hulusi Akar, the Minister of National Defense declared with unbelievable barefaced lies that the operation resulted in a great victory: “50 terrorists were neutralised. During the operation, domestic and national weapons was used, the presence of the terrorist organisation was defeated. The region was taken under control… It was reached the bodies of 13 citizens who were detained in the cave. It was determined that one of our citizens were shot on the shoulder and 12 of our citizens were martyred shot in the head. All of the terrorists who killed our citizens were neutralized. The operation was completed.”
However, this statement was not a victory statement. Neither the public opinion nor the political parties in the opposition were convinced that this operation was successful. Therefore, the results of the operation continue to be an important political issue.
It would be a mistake to understand the consequences of this operation based on the manipulative statements, which are made only in the presence of the enormous pressure exerted by the crises experienced by the government.
First of all, it is very important to understand that this operation was planned, prepared and symbolically coincided with the anniversary of the February 15 1999. In line with the numerous operations carried out so far, it has also been planned very strategically and was regarded as a strategic step for ending the Kurdish freedom movement, which they were not able to eliminate with the 15 February 1999.
This aggressive strategy was used as a decisive reason for all the negotiations that went on with Baghdad, Erbil, Damascus, Moscow, Tehran and Washington. Controlling all the crossing points between Syria and Iraq, then seizing Kirkuk and Mosul, and thus carrying out permanent invasions in Bashur and Rojava has been the motivation of all this aggression as a crucial goal.
It should be reminded that when the Turkish state completed preparations for the attack on Garê, Hashdi Shabi received the order shifting power to Sinjar (Shengal) about 10 thousand people, and the aim was to increase the Hashdi Shabi forces in Shengal to 20 thousand.
The objections and measures taken by Iran and Iraq against a possible Turkish attack on Sinjar resulted in the attacks on Gare rather than the attacks expected in Sinjar following the the idea that maybe the military, political and diplomatic conditions were not yet set for an attack on Sinjar.
However, after four days, the Turkish state understood Garê was not such an easy front at all, despite all the massavie air attack and the ground campaign plus highly technical equipment they mobilised for the operation.
At the end of this operation, three main facts appeared:
Firstly, in the Garê resistance, once again the glorious spirit of resistance and power of struggle of the Kurdish freedom guerrillas were revealed and the guerrilla has written a new resistance epic with all its faith and passion.
Secondly, the historical fact that “there will be operations against Kurdistan but no victory” has been proved once more.
Thirdly, the Erdoğan government is exposed one more time as a dictatorship which maintains his power through violence. The Justice and Development Party (AKP)-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) government did not go to rescue the soldiers and intelligence (MIT) officers captured by the PKK, but tried to kill them.
The Turkish state tried to deceive the public opinion by fabricating a perception for the operation that killed their own soldiers, and tried to cover up its defeat, but they could not succeed.
The Garê operation is over, but its political and military consequences will continue to be discussed for a longer time.
Just as like the sentence said by Noam Chomsky in a seminar at the University of Rojava “The Rojava Revolution is a miracle, the world must see it,” we can also say that the Garê Resistance is a hundred percent success for the Kurdish freedom fighters and a hundred percent defeat for the Turkish state. Both the world and the Turkish state should see this.