The People’s Defence Forces (HPG), a Kurdish armed group attached to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), have announced the deaths of at least 61 Turkish soldiers in an operation against the Turkish Armed Forces in the Zap region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Revolutionary Operation “Martyr Helmet Dêraluk” is also reported to have led to the seizure of large amounts of weapons and military equipment.
The HPG Press Contact Centre issued a statement published by the ANF news agency on Sunday. The HPG described the operation as a response to Turkish occupation, that had been successfully executed in Zap on 12 January. The statement detailed the capture and destruction of arms and military materiels, asserting a significant impact on the Turkish army and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) / Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition.
The HPG’s account of the operation included the disabling of mines and military technology surrounding the Turkish forces, followed by a targeted assault on the Girê Amediyê (Amediye Hill) area. They reported 20 Turkish soldiers were confirmed killed in the initial phase, with subsequent attacks resulting in more casualties. The group also claimed to have used seized Turkish weaponry against the Turkish forces.
The HPG also reported the loss during the operation of two of their own, going by the names of Serxwebûn and Rizgar, and denied that there were any further casualties on their side. Details of these individuals are to be released later.
In addition to the operation in Zap, the HPG also reported a series of other actions and retaliatory strikes by the Turkish army, across several regions including Gare (Garê), Hakurk (Xakurkê) and Metina (Metîna), between 12 and 13 January. These Turkish strikes reportedly did not result in any losses for the HPG.
This announcement from the HPG comes amid ongoing tensions and conflict in the region, which illustrate the volatile situation between Kurdish forces and the Turkish military.