After the deaths of 13 captives in the Garê region of Iraqi Kurdistan, guerrilla members have spoke about the clashes.
Turkey launched a military operation on 10 February in Garê but had to withdraw on 14 February due to the resistance of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forces in the region.
The People’s Defence Center (HSM) said the Turkish state aimed to settle in the region and capture the prisoners held by the PKK.
The Turkish army used more than forty fighter jets alongside Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and armed UAVs. Guerrillas, six of whom were defending the captives, died during the assaults. According to HSM’s statement, 37 Turkish soldiers lost their lives. HSM defined the resistance as “a significant and historical resistance”.
Some guerrillas who witnessed the clashes said Turkish soldiers had to fall back due to their resistance. One of the guerrillas, Hogir Med, spoke about where the clashes occurred and how they captured some of the Turkish army’s equipment.
Another guerrilla, Mirkan Karker, said Turkey carried out an intense bombardment during its attack. Karker said, “They tried to encircle us but instead we encircled them. A violent clash took place in Garê. We showed the will of the guerrilla in that battle”.
Karker also said the PKK protected the 13 captives for six years, until Turkey came and murdered them. He also said Turkey used chemical gas.
Soreş Zeryan is another guerilla who witnessed the clashes. Zeryan said the Turkish army murdered the captives who were being held in the Siyane mountain in Garê.