The attack against the Yesiltas outpost in the rural area around the township of Yuksekova was ordered by the Syrian Kurdish leader Fehman Hussein, who is also known as Bahoz Erdal. The attack was planned by the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK)'s Zagros district commander Mehmet Can Gurhan, also known as Resit Dostum, and Iskender Denk, another Syrian Kurd. The 250-strong terrorist attack force was led by Yiulmaz Kurdo, yet another Syrian Kurd who also goes by the name Perwer. Eight Turkish soldiers were martyred and 26 terrorists were killed.
The same names repeated
In addition to investigations by the special prosecutor in Van, the military prosecutor is separately investigating any potential mistakes or negligence. Simple drawings of Turkish military targets were found in the pockets of some of the PKK men who were killed. Hussein’s decision to attack was made at the Hakurk PKK camp, and all the PKK leaders involved in the operation have been identified. Kurdo’s attack force was organized into three detachments, and a fourth was tasked with infiltrating army positions. This group came within 5-10 meters of the army’s perimeter to lob hand grenades. Seven terrorists were initially killed in the assault, along with 13 more when they were cut off from retreat. The PKK abandoned anti-aircraft weapons, 81 mm mortar shells and heavy machine-gun ammunition from their cover-fire positions.
Teams in pursuit
Roughly 5,000 Turkish special forces, gendarmerie and police commandos are now racing toward the Iraqi border to intercept around 200 PKK members who are trying to reach Iraq. Helicopters from the 3rd Tactical Division Command have been ferrying special forces to the operation zone between Semdinli and Derecik while probable PKK withdrawal routes have been under fire from Cobra assault helicopters. Turkish air force jets have been bombing targets on the Zagros mountains, which extend all the way to the Iranian border. In addition, long-range artillery emplacements and air force jets bombarded the PKK’s Zap base.
Military command: “We are determined”
The office of the Chief of General Staff said that the military will continue its operations with determination. The office also reported that the initially attacked army unit immediately responded and inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists: “Thereafter, in coordinated attacks by our forces comprised of UAVs, air force elements, helicopters and support personnel on the ground, 26 terrorists have been killed. Their weapons and equipment were recovered, one terrorist was captured alive and targets inside Iraq were also hit by our planes.”