As more videos are published, including footage taken inside tunnels used by Kurdish fighters in the Qandil Mountains, further questions are raised about Turkey’s alleged use of toxic gases against Kurdish fighters.
The People’s Defence Forces (HPG) have announced that six HPG fighters died as a result of a chemical attack by Turkey in the Girê Sor area of Avaşîn, in the Medya Defence Zones in South Kurdistan, on 3 September 2021.
HPG fighters who witnessed the deaths of their friends speak about their experience. Their descriptions of the way the Kurdish fighters died increase suspicions of the use of chemical gas, further supporting claims of Turkey’s war crimes.
Mizgin Dalaho, a YJA-Star fighter, speaks about the day the explosion took place:
“They mostly used explosives and chemical gas. The fumes and the smells of these chemical gases were all different from each other. Sometimes they used pepper spray, sometimes they used various other chemical gases. The first gas they used was green, leaving a taste of sugar in the mouth, and the smell was like burnt sugar. This gas smelled so good. They used gases that produced such a nice smell and taste, so that we wouldn’t be worried about the smell, and would inhale it.”
She also says however, that the smell of the gas that killed HPG fighter Fırat Şahin was like bleach.
“It had a long drawn-out effect on people, so Heval [Comrade] Baz (Fırat Şahin) did not die directly at the time, but a day later. A foamy yellow liquid liquid came out of Heval Baz’s mouth for a day, and then he fell as martyr.”
“The last time they attacked, three of us friends were on guard duty. There was a very big explosion, but there was no sound with the explosion. There was a blast of extreme pressure in there and we were all shaken about where we were. The impact of this explosion was as severe as an earthquake.”
She states that very quickly the place was filled with smoke.
“Less than two minutes later, the place was filled with smoke, greyish in colour. I was with our friends Armanç and Tekoşin. My friend Armanç was unconscious for about four hours. Tekoşin was about to suffocate, when she fell to the ground, she looked as if she was taking her last breath. Heval Tekoşin had gone red, she was turning purple. The date was 3 September. I went to check on our friends. All six of them had fallen as martyrs. All our fallen friends had gone red and were gradually turning purple. They had all definitely been exposed to the gas, they all had signs of suffocation. That is how all my friends fell as martyrs.”
The YJA-Star fighter called for an independent delegation to come and inspect the tunnels.
“The people should not accept the martyrdom of our friends by chemical gas in this way, they should rise up. International delegations can go and inspect the tunnels. There are still traces of the chemicals in the tunnels. They can examine the bodies of our friends who died and find out what chemical gases were used.”