Footage from guerrilla areas after Turkish attack with chemical weapons

ANF has received footage from a tunnel in Southern Kurdistan that once again testifies to the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army. In the video, a guerrilla fighter wearing a gas mask leads the way through the tunnel.

According to the People's Defense Forces (HPG) statement published on 14 June, Turkey has used chemical weapons at least 779 times in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) in two months. According to the report, an average of 13 attacks with chemical warfare agents have taken place every day. The use of chemical weapons against guerrilla positions continues. Although there is various evidence and testimonies of these war crimes, there is no reaction at the international level.

ANF has obtained footage from the Şehîd Berxwedan tunnel at Girê Şehîd Şahin that once again testifies to the use of chemical weapons. In the video, a guerrilla fighter wearing a gas mask points to black and white powder and says: "They are using chemical weapons. There is a very heavy smell." The gas used attacks the respiratory system and causes respiratory distress, the guerrilla fighter says, pointing to the blackened walls of the tunnel. The traces are unmistakable, he says.

Then a radio message from the guerrillas can be heard in the video: "It is not the Turkish army that is fighting us today, it is chemical weapons and NATO technology." The guerrilla fighter says that the guerrillas are also trying to protect themselves against Turkish state radar systems and that chemical weapons are being used in the bombardments. The gas that has penetrated the tunnels continues to have its effect, he says, and the tunnel can therefore only be entered with a gas mask.

Female fighters cut their hair

The radio message goes on to say that there are protective measures against the gas. However, due to the circumstances, it is not possible to change clothes every day, for example. All the female guerrillas have cut off their hair.

In the video, the fighter shows the situation in the tunnel and says that along with pepper gas, another agent with yellow colouring was used. The fighter leads the way through the tunnel and points to the tracks: "When wind blows, the powder mixes with the air and takes effect again." Pointing to a yellowish puddle, he says, "This was created today." The yellow ordnance is odourless and causes exhaustion in people, he says. Traces of the yellow powder can also be seen on a generator.

PKK statements on chemical weapons

Duran Kalkan, a member of the PKK's Executive Committee, said in an interview broadcast on Medya Haber TV on 21 June: "We are dealing with a regime that uses chemical weapons on a massive scale. Nothing is being done against this, this regime is being supported to the extreme. War crimes are being committed. For example, the testimonies of friends who have left Hill Sor indicate that it was very likely an attack with tactical nuclear weapons."

HPG commander Murat Karayilan, who is also a member of the PKK Executive Committee, warned in an address to the guerrillas on 16 June that the Turkish state will further intensify the use of chemical weapons. Two weeks earlier, Karayilan said in an interview with ANF, "At the moment, the army is focusing on chemical weapons. Our comrades in the field have so far detected seven chemical variants; pitch black, yellow, silver, green and odourless, brown, red with soap smell and white. We can only describe these agents by their colours. Different chemical gases are used against us. There are tens of thousands of soldiers, an air force, ground troops, but no will. Results are wanted to be achieved by use of chemical weapons. That's how this war is being fought."