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Ankara concerned by PKK's modernized arsenal

The Kurdistan Workers Party's weapons, ammunition and equipment captured by Turkey show a previously unknown diversification and growing sophistication of the group's arsenal.
Bullets lie next to a gun at a Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) check point, a militia affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in the village of Umm al-Dhiban, northern Iraq, April 30, 2016. They share little more than an enemy and struggle to communicate on the battlefield, but together two relatively obscure groups have opened up a new front against Islamic State militants in a remote corner of Iraq. The unlikely alliance between the Sinjar Resistance Units, an offshoot of a leftist Kurdish organ
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If you had asked me five years ago to reveal the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK’s) combat inventory, I would have listed the AK-47 Kalashnikov as the personal gun used across the board, the BKC (Bixi) machine gun, the SVD Dragunov sniper rifle, a few A2/A4 US rifles, anti-tank weapons limited to RPG-7 rocket launchers, no anti-tank missiles, extremely limited access to MANPADS and shoulder-fired, ground-to-air defense missiles. The same PKK force would rely on commercially available Yaesu radios to communicate, would not be equipped with night and thermal vision optics, and would procure its uniforms and supplies locally. In short, it would be equipped for long-term, low-intensity clashes in rural terrain.

But now, because of the wars in Iraq and Syria with advanced weaponry used by all belligerents, the PKK has become a sophisticated force by diversifying its weaponry, ammunition and equipment. The Turkish military notes the PKK and its northern Syrian combat affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), are gradually becoming more of a regular army by constantly improving their conventional capabilities such as armored unit tactics; artillery and rocket-fire support without line-of-sight availability; large-scale logistics movements; coordinating close air support; and providing artillery-forward observation, surveillance and reconnaissance with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and urban warfare.

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