Thirty-six terrorist PKK targets have been destroyed in an airstrike in northern Iraq, the Turkish military said late Monday.
In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said the airstrikes were launched in the Asos region near Iraq's mountainous border with Turkey, destroying 36 targets -- shelters and weapons depots -- of the terror group.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. In its over three-decade terror campaign against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have been killed.
Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.
US promised PKK terror corridor reaching Mediterranean, says ex-SDF spokesman
Talal Silo, a former spokesperson and defector from the PKK/PYD-dominated SDF, said that the U.S. informed the terrorist organization of Turkey’s probable operations in the region. Referring to Apr. 25, when Turkey struck PKK targets located on Mt. Sinjar in northern Iraq and Mt. Karacok in northeastern Syria and killed 70 terrorists, Silo said Şahin Cilo, a YPG regional figure, managed to stay alive because he did not receive a message from the U.S. saying it was safe. Silo added that most of the weapons sent by the Pentagon to the PKK were stowed at places American troops were located to prevent strikes by Turkey. Silo’s statements regarding the U.S.-PKK alliance are as follows:US promised PKK/PYD a terror corridor from northern Syria to the MediterraneanIt was not a project. It was a promise. We met with an American who said that he was coming from a think tank. They had asked for the meeting. He had a lot of bodyguards. Later, it was discovered that he was a U.S. intelligence chief.He said to us: "If you direct towards Deir ez-Zor, the U.S. will give the necessary support to provide a post toward the sea to the SDF and the Syrian Democratic Parliament." It was promised. However, the operation to take Deir ez-Zor failed. The main issue is not taking the villages and oil fields. [A Mediterranean corridor] was promised to Şahin Cilo and the SDF. I was also there.Daesh hands over Deir ez-Zor oilfields to PKK after deal with USIf this operation [Deir ez-Zor] was completed successfully, if we had won a victory, maybe the U.S. would try to open a corridor toward the sea for the SDF. He [American intelligence chief] said: “It is not possible for a structure like this to have a future if it does not have access to the sea.”He gave the issue of “Kurdistan” and Erbil as an example. “Kurdistan” does not have a point that opens to sea. Therefore, it always has to convince the other parties. Otherwise how will it export the oil? It has to have a point, like a port. The U.S. side promised on this issue. But I think it did not go according to plan. We will see what happens in the following days.Turkey’s Afrin operation worrying for PKKIf Turkish forces had intervened [in Afrin] they could have captured the city very quickly. The situation in Afrin is not like how the organization [PKK] shows. Therefore, they were very scared.The issue is not only the fall of Afrin. If Turkish forces cut [off] the northern rural areas; that would mean the failure of all projects [exit to Mediterranean], because they thought of Afrin as the heart of the project.Erdoğan: PKK/PYD not 'benefiting Kurdish brothers'The Turkish intervention would be the end of their dreams that they traded. [Against] the case of Turkish intervention in Afrin, they wanted Russian forces. The Syrian regime wanted the raising of the Syrian flag in case of contact with the Turks. But the regime put as a prerequisite the transfer of the points where its flag would be raised.Qandil rejected this request. But the border elements were scared. They believed that the U.S. would pressure Turkey not to capture Afrin. But the U.S. did not answer up to now. The U.S., since the beginning, said that it will support the liberated areas, but also said from the beginning that it will not give support to Afrin.Top officials at Mt. KaraçokKaraçok was the main base where the YPG's weapons and ammunitions depots and the money case were present. Bahoz Erdal and Şahin Cilo were residing close to there. It was also the place where ideological education was given to PKK leaders. YPG members were also receiving military education.I went there two times. Once I met Şahin Cilo and took over a car from him. The YPG's archives and press center were also in Karaçok. All the people present there were for the leader team.Former SDF spokesman tells of US arming terror groupsNalin from Turkey was responsible for women. She did not know Arabic. N. Sevin was also a Turkish-Kurd, she knew very little Arabic. Rustem [responsible for YPG groups] and Hasakah’s supervisor Gerzan were also present.I told Şahin Cilo that I was surprised how the death toll can be so much. He said: "Turkey violated security in Karaçok. There were some leaders who would be elected to new positions. Rustem would go to Turkey and work there. Turkish intelligence knew this. Regarding us, we were already staying outside because the message from the U.S. saying that 'you will not be targeted' had not came yet.’”Assad was Afrin’s windowWhen the Syrian regime took Aleppo, a road was formed directly. It is a parallel road [from the south] to the Operation Euphrates Shield area. The road starts from Afrin [passes from the regime areas] and reaches Manbij through the outskirts of Aleppo. And from Manbij, it directs to Jazeera [in east of Euphrates river]. In order to use the road, the approval of the regime or the Russian side is necessary. Sometimes even the Iranians' [approval].McGurk said Russia was not a problem for USThe U.S. did not pledge about Afrin. Even I asked McGurk [U.S. Special Representative for fighting Daesh] at our first meeting. At that time, Afrin did not have any communication [with the eastern areas]. I asked him about support to Afrin. He said that as the U.S. government they will not support Afrin. This happened at our first meeting.He said: “If Afrin wants another supporter, it should find one.” I said: “Maybe the Russian side.” He said: “There is no obstacle for us.”Then, Assad's cousin Hussein Assad called me. He told me to establish a line between the SDF and the Russians positioned at Khmeimim base. I spoke about the issue to Şahin Cilo. He said that the line will disturb the U.S. But Sipan Hamo [so-called general commander of YPG] wanted to communicate with the Russians. Then I explained this to Hussein Assad. The communication line with the Russians was established. They were nestling to Russians in many issues.Turkish forces kill over 350 PKK terrorists in NovemberInternational competition in Deir ez-Zor intensifiedOn Sep. 9 we started the operation [against Daesh as the SDF]. I personally announced it. The target was the remaining al-Jazeera region in Syria and the north of Euphrates River.Neither us, nor the YPG had the means to start an operation against Daesh. This operation was realized with U.S. support. The issue was definitely not related to oil. The target was the reaching of these forces under the name of the SDF to the Bukamal and Mayadin districts before the regime forces.Thanks to this, a barricade would be founded between Syria and Iraq. The U.S. tried to help in the beginning but failed. In the beginning we were also harassed by the Russians. Many people were even killed in Russian and regime attacks. The U.S. and SDF were fighting shoulder to shoulder. Regime forces were away.PKK/PYD, US 'let Daesh go free on 3 occasions' in SyriaBut the U.S., seeing that the regime was reaching those areas rapidly, mobilized the SDF. It requested Şahin Cilo [YPG regional figure] to do this job. That is something that most people do not know.Many posts that were taken were left to the Russians. Even Konoko gas plant and the surrounding oil fields were left to the Russians. When these transfers were made, the regime and the Russians did not advance further.PKK petroleum operation in Deir ez-Zor and HasakahThe YPG and PKK misused the oil fields in Rumelan after capturing them. Firstly, they were exporting this oil over Daesh areas. Ali Seyr, who is the PKK's responsible figure for financial issues at Jazeera, lives in Qamishli. He has direct connections with senior figures of the PKK. He is authorized to do oil agreements. Only he knows about the revenue. This is the secret of the PKK.Ali Seyr is selling oil to the outside since 2012. In the past, the sales were being done only over Daesh areas. An officer of the regime, al-Katirji, is the general responsible for taking oil from the PKK. It was said that even Şahin Cilo could not intervene in this. The oil issue was the secret of the organization. I reached some information by asking many questions.The money from the oil sold was being transferred to some names close to them in the banks of Lebanon. Then the money was being transferred to Europe. All the names are PKK members. The issue is very big. Everyday hundreds of tankers of oil were being transferred.The PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, was among the U.S.-backed SDF. The U.S. has supported the SDF, which consists of the PKK/PYD and other groups, in fighting Daesh in Syria but has largely ignored its links to the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
Erdoğan: PKK/PYD not 'benefiting Kurdish brothers'
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said that the PKK/PYD terror group did not care about the well-being or future of the Kurdish people in Syria.Addressing the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in the eastern province of Agri, Erdogan said the terrorist group was being used as a "pawn" by some states and powers and would be disposed of eventually."Do you believe that YPG/PYD in Syria is working for the benefit and future of our Kurdish brothers?" Erdogan asked. "Never. This is not the case."ngHe said he always spoke out against the abuse of Kurdish people's rights by Bashar al-Assad's regime."I asked him, back in the days when we were on good terms, why they did not give them [Kurds] identity cards or passports. But Assad never cared about them."Erdogan said that Daesh in Syria equaled "YPG/PYD"."Whoever established Daesh and armed them, and wreaked carnage in the country [Syria], is now arming and controlling and guiding YPG/PYD," he said, in an indirect reference to the U.S.For the Syrian people, their "only friend" is Turkey, he added.Erdogan later attended another party meeting in the neighboring Mus province, where he warned businessmen against moving their assets abroad, calling it a "treacherous" attempt."I am getting some news that some businessmen are trying to move their assets abroad. I am calling on the Cabinet to never allow such a move. Because this is treason," Erdogan said without giving any names or other details.He added that Turkey was a strong country that could take the necessary stand to protect its independence and national interests, no matter the circumstances.Last Tuesday, Turkey’s National Security Council termed the PKK/PYD terror group’s ethnic cleansing in Syria "unacceptable".The council met under the leadership of Erdogan in capital Ankara."PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization’s efforts to carry out a covert ethnic cleansing by changing the demographic structure of Syria is against international law and human rights, and, therefore, it is unacceptable," said a statement released after the meeting.Turkey will continue to take every necessary measure at the Turkey-Syria border area to ensure its own security, the council said.The PKK/PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years. Turkey considers PKK, PYD, and YPG all one and the same.While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the U.S. has treated the PKK/PYD/YPG as an ally in its anti-Daesh efforts, despite its PKK ties documented by Turkey.Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.