Turkey’s air-and-ground campaign in the Zap, Metina and Avashin regions in Iraqi Kurdistan, known as the Medya Defence Zones of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), continues. It commenced on 23 April.
Kurdish fighters from the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) and the Free Women’s Units (YJA-Star), both military wings of the PKK, have launched counter-campaigns in response to Turkey’s military operation.
Zilan Botan, a YJA-Star fighter, has been involved in these counter-actions since the beginning of the conflict, according to ANF. She has stated that Turkey’s purpose with this latest campaign is to take over control of the whole Zagros region. “Zagros is a region which belongs to the Colemêrg region. The enemy wants to settle in this region and the guerrilla are resisting this,” she said.
Botan added: “They cannot achieve their goals. This mobility reflects their fear. Our comrades have been resisting in war tunnels and in the field with great will.” She shared information that every night, new Turkish soldiers land in the region via military helicopters. Even as more soldiers arrive in the region, none of them have been able to get into the war tunnels of the PKK, she stated.
“Therefore, they use new techniques, but their techniques and tactics have already been defeated by us. Everybody should know that nobody can land in the mountains of Zagros so easily. Only the ones who already live here can maintain their presence here,” she said.
“This is an expansive operation, but the guerrilla manifest their presence with their stance and actions,” she added.
Botan emphasized the role of the female fighters in the ongoing conflict. “The role of female friends led by the YJA-Star is significant in this resistance. Most of the actions, in which the female friends took part, ended in success,” she said.
“These attacks not only target the guerrilla, but the Kurdish people as a whole,” she stated, adding that the defence of Zagros is of crucial importance not just for the Kurdish fighters, but for all Kurdish people.