Guerrillas who survived Turkish chemical attack speak of their experiences
Guerrillas who survived the Turkish chemical attack in Girê Sor, near the Turkish border, spoke about their experiences. According to the guerrillas, "International delegations can visit the tunnels and conduct research. There are still chemical traces."
The Turkish army has launched a new attack against the war tunnels in the last month after the calculations used in the invasion attack launched in the Avasin area failed. The Turkish state arrived in the Girê Sor area on June 21 with all available technical means, and has used chemical gas and explosives numerous times since the beginning of the war against the guerrillas. In early September, the invading Turkish army, which had carried out a variety of attacks against Girê Sor, which is located at the zero point of the Turkish border, but with no success, resorted to another inhuman method, which it had never used before. Six guerrillas were killed in this attack, which was carried out on September 3, 2021, with a new type of chemical bomb.
Three guerrillas who have fought in the Girê Sor war tunnels since the beginning of the resistance process and survived the chemical weapons bombardment spoke to ANF about the Turkish state's war crimes in these areas. The banned chemical weapons were used by the Turkish army, according to guerrillas Mizgin, Armanc, and Tekosin, and six guerrillas were martyred as a result of the chemical weapons bombardment.
'THEY USED GAS THAT GIVES A BEAUTIFUL ODOR TO DRAW US'
According to YJA Star Guerrilla Mizgin Dalaho, the Turkish state did not fire a single bullet in these war tunnels and instead waged the entire war with chemical gases and explosives:
"The Turkish army's occupation operations began in the Mamreşo area on April 23 and then continued in other parts of Avaşin. Girê Sor was one of these areas. On this hill, there was a lot of resistance. I was one of the guerrillas involved in the resistance. The Turkish army waged this war with tendencies that were far outside the bounds of war morality. Against us, the Turkish state used everything that could not be used in a war. The most common were explosives, and chemical gases and pepper sprays dispersed by these explosives. This war is unlike any other in history because of its immorality. There is a distinct difference in orientation. Many of our friends have been martyred as a result of these methods. So far, the enemy has not killed a single one of our friends with bullets, and they have not engaged in any hand-to-hand combat. I was in the war tunnels; the enemy never entered the war tunnels and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting with bravery, but rather with explosives and chemical gas. The smoke and odor of these chemical gases differ from one another. They used pepper spray at times and various chemical gases at other times. The first gas they used was green in color and tasted and smelled like burnt sugar. This gas had a pleasant odor. They used gases that had a nice odor and taste, so we wouldn't be bothered by them if we inhaled them.
The gas that killed Heval Baz (HPG guerrilla Martyr Baz Gever- Fırat Şahin) smelled like bleach. It had a long-lasting effect on people, which is why Heval Baz was martyred a day later, not immediately. For a day, Heval Baz had a yellow liquid with bubbles coming out of his mouth, and then he passed away. They also used various gases in between, the majority of which were grayish white in color."
Guerrilla Mizgin Dalaho said:
"We three friends were on guard duty during the last explosion. There was an unexpectedly powerful explosion, but there was no sound. Only very high pressure came in, and we all began to shake in our seats. This explosion had the same effect as an earthquake. In less than 2 minutes, smoke came in, and it was gray in color. When two of my friends went to check the doors, they fell down before they walked more than a few meters. Comrades Armanc and Tekosin were with me. Armanc was unconscious for about 4 hours. Tekosin's face turned red, his body turned purple, and he was on the verge of suffocating after falling to the ground. He was about to exhale his final breath. I intervened directly, and he calmed down a little. After 4 hours, comrade Armanc was able to regain consciousness. We later went to check on the mentioned friends to see that our six friends had all been martyred. All of them had a purple-tinged red complexion. All of my friends had been martyred by gas, as they all showed signs of suffocation.
It was a very violent explosion, so we erected heavy-duty barricades in front of the tunnels. The force of the pressure had caused all of the barricades to collapse. It also had a very different effect on our friends. Chemical gas is not a weapon to be used in battle. Our people must never accept that their children are being killed with chemicals in front of their eyes daily. There have been many massacres in the past, but this attack is unprecedented. The Turkish state cannot deny this. People can seize evidence, and international delegations can visit these tunnels to conduct research. These chemicals are still present in the tunnels. They can examine the bodies of the martyred friends to determine which chemical gases were used. First and foremost, the public should not accept it.”
‘COMRADE BAZ WAS KILLED BY CHEMICAL EFFECT’
HPG guerrilla Armanc Simko is one of the guerrillas who witnessed what happened in the Girê Sor area firsthand and has been a part of the resistance since its inception. He stated that these gases affect people's nervous systems and consciousness, causing death through suffocation:
"I also participated in the Girê Sor resistance areas against the Avaşin operation. When the enemy advanced on the war tunnels, they attacked with ferocity, employing poisonous and chemical gases. The first gas they used was in explosives, but they also employed other means. They carried out an explosion after each use of gas, causing us to be more affected by the gases. In other cases, they used gas, but this time without explosives. The first gas they used tasted like sugar and smelled sweet. The nervous systems of the friends who inhaled this gas were harmed. When I inhaled this gas, my arms went numb, and I felt sluggish and half-conscious. At the same time, this gas had an effect on man's consciousness. They used the same gas that killed Heval Baz with an explosive, and it smelled like detergent. This gas was affecting the breathing. When Comrade Baz was first exposed to this gas, he was unaffected; however, the effect became apparent later. Comrade Baz was struggling to breathe, his heart was racing fast and deep, and his pulse was irregular. When we attempted to do a cardiac massage to save him, yellow bubbly water came out of his mouth and nose. Comrade Baz died there as a result of suffocation caused by chemical gas."
'2 MONTHS HAVE PASSED, BUT I STILL CAN’T CONTROL MY REFLEXES'
Armanc Simko stated that the last chemical gas used by Turkish soldiers had an immediate effect on people, and that after inhaling this gas, he fell unconscious for 4 hours and has no memory of what happened:
"I don't remember the effects of the gas they used the last time, which killed six of my friends. As far as I recall, we went to check on their friends when gas was used, but I can't think of anything else. However, the gas they use has an immediate effect on the body, causing you to faint as you inhale it. When it is overly inhaled, it results in death. That gas was responsible for the deaths of six friends in the tunnel. Despite the fact that I only inhaled a small amount of that gas, I couldn't come to my senses for 4 hours. I still don't remember anything that happened until the next day. I don't even remember how we got out of the tunnels. In my opinion, the gas they use directly affects and kills the person's brain and nervous system. That is why you have memory loss. Even though it's been two months, I still feel the effects; I forget most things and can't control my body's reflexes.
LET INTERNATIONAL DELEGATIONS COME HERE AND INVESTIGATE
In the Avaşin operation, they have been using chemical gas in Mamreşo and Girê Sor, and most recently in the Werxelê resistance areas.
Despite this, the guerrilla fights back with its own means and determination. I'd like to appeal to international researchers. Let them come here and explore these tunnels. These chemicals continue to have an impact in the tunnels. The Turkish state is committing a war crime, as well as a crime against humanity. Nobody should remain silent on this issue. Our people, in particular, and the families of martyrs, must not remain silent on this issue. The identities of the martyred friends were revealed, and families should attend their children's funerals to find out what happened to their bodies and to demand an explanation. In any case, the Turkish state does not give the bodies because they are afraid of an investigation of the bodies and exposure of their crimes. Even though it is painful, we will turn this into a power and demand that the Turkish state account for these war crimes, and we will avenge those who died alongside us."
'THEY WERE HELPLESS IN THE FACE OF DETERMINATION'
YJA Star guerrilla Tekosin Devrim described her experiences as follows:
"On June 21, the enemy launched an attack on the Girê Sor area. On the third day of the operation, they began using chemical gas. This chemical gas was bright green in color and smelled strongly of burnt sugar. They carried out an explosion after using each chemical gas. During this war, we witnessed firsthand how cowardly Turkish soldiers were, and how far they were from war morality and conscience. They used such tactics because they couldn't break the guerrilla resistance. The gray gas, in particular, was concentrated in the tunnels. They were pumping this gas in hoses through the doors that we had previously closed. The smell of bleach was another type of gas they used. The smell was both foul and potent. Furthermore, they were constantly using pepper gas to keep the friends inside breathless. Even in the tunnels we were in, Turkish soldiers failed to fire a bullet properly.
On September 3rd, we were on guard duty when they used the gas that killed our friends. Despite the fact that our tunnels are very long, we suddenly felt a lot of pressure. There was no explosion, but something resembling an earthquake occurred. It was filled with gas a few minutes later. This gas was unlike any other they had ever used. 'No matter what happens, this hill will not fall; we will triumph here,' friends would always say. In the face of this determination, the enemy's use of chemicals was a result of desperation. When the enemy realized there would be no results, they tried new methods, which resulted in this explosion.
Despite the fact that our tunnels are very long, a very dense gas entered inside. This gas did not smell as good as the others; rather, it emitted a foul odor that people could not stand. I'd fallen in the tunnel and was suffocating to the point where I thought I was going to die. Friends came and gave me a breath, and this is how I came to recover consciousness.
My friends were fainting and falling down, and this gas was causing people to lose their memories. Every one of the six friends mentioned above was directly martyred. The chemical they used was so potent that the guards were unable to make it to the fallen friends. Friends had died in tunnels and sections. Their bodies were red and bruised, and it was clear that they had been suffocated. Some of the friends' feet were turned upside down. The state of the corpses indicated that very powerful gas had been used and that this was a new attack. These explosives and gases had never been used before, and they were put to the test on us. The Turkish state heads for the war tunnels devoid of morality and conscience, and attacks with thousands of soldiers against 9-10 guerrillas. Still they are unable to break the resistance and they end up developing such methods.
Comrade Botan Özgür was the resistance's commander, and he always said during the resistance, "'Our people are behind us, and our people will definitely claim this resistance and rise up.' Our people should notice these things and react. Despite all the difficulties, the friends resisted for days when the enemy was on them, and they were martyred with chemicals. Our people must support our comrades' resistance without fail."