The recent Turkish military operations in south-eastern Turkey have continued in two cities, Hakkari (Colemerg) and Mardin (Mêrdin). The military operations that were launched in rural areas, in Tilorana Binî and Tilorana Seri villages in the Yüksekova (Gever) district of Hakkari, also entered their third day.
Clusters of armoured vehicles and construction vehicles on Thursday were moved to the surroundings of Mount Sipêrêz, where the operations have intensified, MA reports.
Initial reports have suggested that the operation area near to Sipêrêz was often targeted by airstrikes and a loud explosion was heard at around 4 am. After the explosion, a village near the mountain was taken under military control with all entry and exit points blocked. Villagers were told to not leave their homes, locals told MA.
In the operation zone, an armed vehicle on 27 July was reportedly hit by the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), killing six Turkish soldiers and leaving many more wounded, ANF reported.
After the explosion, soldiers inspecting the site of the explosion detained several villagers and also shepherds from the nearby villages of Çukurca (Pagê) and Aşağı Ölçek. Seven of the detained villagers were arrested for allegedly “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country.” Shepherds Levent Dere and Harun Örtas, who were reportedly subjected to severe torture in custody for days, were also arrested.
The Turkish Government has also declared a curfew across two villages and two hamlets in Mardin’s rural area known as Ömeryan, reported MA.
Outside Turkey’s borders, the Turkish army continues with its campaign in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Turkish warplanes on Thursday targeted Mount Kurejahro in the Sheladiz region, located in northern Iraq. The air strikes set fires in two forests, reported Roj News.
No casualties have been reported as yet. Local sources told Roj News that Turkey’s helicopters last night conducted an air strike in the surroundings of the village of Hirur, located in Behdinan region.
Several civilians have been reportedly killed and wounded during the hundreds of operations to drive out Kurdish fighters that have been mounted by the Turkish army over the years.
The PKK has been waging an armed struggle against Turkey for expanded rights for Kurds since 1984. Fighting between the Turkish army and the PKK in the region has especially escalated since late April, when Turkey launched its latest military campaigns, dubbed ‘Operation Claw-Lightning’ and ‘Thunderbolt.’