The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is preparing for a comprehensive ground operation into northern Iraq against the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) organization, expected to take place in spring.
The TSK is currently developing its strategy for the operation, which will most likely be launched in the middle of March. The ground operation is planned to be the final strike against the terrorist organization. It will follow upon a series of aerial attacks that have seriously disrupted the organization, bringing it to the brink of collapse. Reports indicate that communications between PKK leaders was seriously disrupted by the operations and that the distrust that emerged following the severing of communications has brought the organization to the edge of dissolution. The TSK has set up military bases at high elevations in the Cudi, Gabar, Küpeli, Tanin and Kato mountains, strategic points used by the PKK militants for infiltration into Turkey. The bases will include helicopter landing facilities, thermal cameras and artillery equipment.
TSK Special Forces based in Bolu, Kayseri, Isparta and Manisa have been trained for the purpose of destroying the remaining PKK presence in northern Iraq. The Land Forces Command is currently working to determine the number and state of armored vehicles, trucks, trailers, mobile medical units and mobile kitchens in the transportation units. A thorough review is being undertaken to check the state of equipment, clothing and food supplies of the units based in the region.
The spring operations will coincide with the withdrawal of the units that carried out operations in the winter and the deployment of replacement units. Military sources indicate that the spring operation will be carried out in two separate regions, one along Turkey's borders with Iran and Iraq and one inside Turkey, near the provinces of Tunceli, Bingöl, Siirt and Diyarbakır.
The military units that will take part in the spring operation are being picked by the authorities at the Land Forces Command and Gendarmerie Command. The number of training sessions for the command units based in Bolu, Kayseri, Isparta and Manisa has been increased in preparation for the ground operation in spring. Two large military units from Bolu have been deployed to the region. The Land Forces Command is currently working to determine the quantity of military equipment proper for use in the operation.
Turkey will also reportedly use unmanned Heron surveillance airplanes, which will be provided by Israel. These will play an indispensable role in the combat against terrorist activity. The Heron will be used to screen and monitor a large area, including northern Iraq and the Gabar, Cudi, Küpeli, Kato, Yazlıca and Tanin mountains.
These will play an indispensable role in the combat against terrorist activity. The Heron will be used to screen and monitor a large area, including northern Iraq and the Gabar, Cudi, Küpeli, Kato, Yazlıca and Tanin mountains. The intelligence thus gathered will be swiftly evaluated and used in military strikes.
The TSK had previously deployed 50,000 troops in the border region before the cross-border operation on Dec. 16, when Turkish warplanes began pounding PKK bases. During the operations, which also included members of the TSK Special Forces Unit, the regular forces backed the main units by performing mine sweeping. Reports say that the number of troops deployed along the border will not go below 50,000.
The Pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) held a march to Mt. Cudi last week in an attempt to protest the projected military action.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Şubat 2008, 09:29