Guerrilla Commander Malazgirt: The war is completely under our control
Speaking about the battles in Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn, guerrilla commander Alan Malazgirt said, “We are not only defending our country, our region, but we want to turn the attack into a defeat for the enemy and inflict a heavy blow on the Turkish military.
Alan Malazgirt, one of the commanders of the Bazên Zagrosê Campaign, spoke to ANF about the ongoing battles in Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn regions of guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) where the Turkish army has been conducting an invasion operation since April 17, facing resolute resistance from the guerrilla forces.
“Fierce fighting is taking place in areas like Şikefta Birîndara, Werxelê, Cehennem and Kuro Jahro. In the places where the fierce fighting is taking place, the enemy has not been able to make any progress. War entails sacrifices, we are ready for that. There is no one among our comrades who is not ready to make sacrifices. There is no retreat. We do not see war only as resistance and defence. Yes, that is part of it, but we are not only defending our country, our region, but we want to turn the attack into a defeat for the enemy and inflict a heavy blow on the Turkish military,” the commander said.
Malazgirt stated that they had already been prepared for the invasion attacks of the Turkish state which started on April 17. “We predicted that they would launch such an attack this year and made our preparations accordingly. The Turkish army would change its attack style by taking our resistance last year into consideration. We also introduced new measures based on the outcomes of last year’s battles. Therefore, we were prepared and expected such a move. The Turkish army did not get remarkable results from last year's battle. This year's attacks are different from the previous year. Before starting the operation, the Turkish air force bombed the area. The Turkish army wanted to destroy at least half of our forces with the help of air strikes. That is what we expected. However, the airstrikes have remained futile.”
The evaluations by the HPG commander further include the following:
Their activities this year are not like they used to be 5-6 years ago. The Turkish army wanted to advance 30-36 kilometres along the northern line extending from Werxelê to Çiyayê Reş. It advanced about 20-25 kilometres from the south. It sought to airdrop troops at strategic points in these areas and settle in the region. This was the main goal of the Turkish army. The enemy forces attacked a very broad area in an attempt to neutralize their target through psychological pressure using bombs and advanced weaponry. Yet, we were already expecting all of this. The enemy forces were set to airdrop troops in the region in the wake of intense airstrikes. However, they couldn't do it in the first few days. Our forces on all the hills responded harshly so that the enemy forces did not succeed and did not allow them to easily land troops in the region.
ATTACKS IN SOUTH KURDISTAN
The enemy managed to airdrop troops in several places. A few times, soldiers were dropped off at Kuro Jahro, Karker and Werxelê. But these places were far away from our other areas. The region is very vast.The enemy could not airdrop troops at strategic positions. So this strategy has failed. Many helicopters were targeted in the process, some may have been shot down. Because of the war situation, we could not always clear this up. In the Ertuş area, the comrades shot down a helicopter. The enemy tried in vain to capture the strategic points for about a week. Then they changed their tactics. Of course, we had foreseen this. This time, the enemy started to attack [on the ground] from the direction of Southern Kurdistan. Because the enemy had no possibility to capture the region from the air, they tried to invade from the ground. In this way, the troops were to be sent deep into the region, establish positions there and gain control over these areas. In many areas, there were clashes between the army and our forces. These clashes are continuing. With the support of artillery, fighter jets and reconnaissance planes, the enemy was able to close in on our friends on the ground in some places. But as they advanced on the ground, they were struck by the guerrillas, pelted with hand grenades and hit by snipers. The comrades even took action against them again and again. In some places, the fighting is still going on. The enemy says they attacked from two sides [north and south] and sees this as an advantage for them. But, of course, it also has disadvantages. These disadvantages have offered us important advantages.
WE ARE A GUERRILLA MOVEMENT
We are not an ordinary force; we are a guerrilla movement. Apart from our comrades fighting in the battle tunnels, we have mobile teams in the depths of the field. These teams both deal a blow to the Turkish troops that they lured onto the field and also protect our battle tunnels. The Turkish army deployed its forces in a large area. This meant a multiplication of targets for our mobile units, which was also an advantage for us. The enemy says it has completed the first phase of the operation, but that is not true. In the section that the enemy has declared as the second stage, there are also great advantages for us. We will make better use of these advantages in the future. Our mobile units will become even more active from the south as well as from the north. In this way, we will inflict even greater losses on the enemy. This war has been going on for about 50 days. We have no casualties as the enemy forces claim. This war is completely under our control and our system is working out. We are making more efforts not to lose control and to defeat enemy forces everywhere. No one should be tricked by the enemy's propaganda. Their official statement that the Turkish army has captured many places is not true. This is evident in HPG's daily balance sheets of the battles. The enemy wants to define everything in a biased way. Yet, the result is obvious. As a result, since the Turkish army has spread its operations into a wide area, their troops have become easy targets for us, creating opportunities to defeat them. We will make better use of it. According to the course of the battles and the tactics of the enemy, we will become more active. This is how the war is being fought today.
TURKISH TROOPS LEFT THEIR POSITIONS
The most important thing for us in this process is to turn the enemy's goals into the opposite and make them regret ever having attacked the Medya Defence Zones. This situation has created a great opportunity for us to achieve our goals. We have the potential now to break up the enemy in war zones and take the initiative in the war. We can say this with great certainty.
The enemy is using large explosives and poison gas to achieve quick results. They still lack determination to defend their positions. Where our comrades have carried out actions, the enemy has retreated. Therefore, the enemy wants to achieve results by trying to break the resistance with technology, detonations and chemical weapons. But they have not succeeded so far. Not even a single comrade has been weak here. All of them are in resistance. The Turkish army has not been able to send its soldiers to fight against our comrades until today and they do not have the determination to break the resistance of comrades. The enemy has put its emphasis on technology in this war. They aim at establishing permanent positions, building roads to these positions and thus advancing step by step. This also increases the number of targets for our units.
WE WILL PREPARE FOR A LONG-TERM WAR
The enemy wanted to intensify the war on one front to neutralise our mobile units. But this will not work. Our mobile units will be active wherever the enemy is. They will inflict heavy losses on the enemy. As we have already explained, the enemy is trying to protect the places they have captured and make further advances with the help of the most modern technology. However, the terrain does not allow this.
To date, we have made many changes to our warfare and tactics of action. These changes will continue. It is clear that this war will continue. So, we will prepare accordingly. The enemy wants to achieve quick results. But we will not allow that to happen. We will expand the war everywhere. This is the current situation.
WE WILL NOT FIGHT THE WAY THE ENEMY WANTS
War is not something comfortable and easy. Of course, there are sacrifices and difficulties. There are burdens inherent in war itself. We have no serious casualties so far in this process of war. Our losses have taken place in the areas where our comrades intervened against the enemy. Of course, there are shortcomings in our struggle, but we will also focus on these. We will not fight the way the enemy wants, we will fight this war the way we want. We will fight with mobile units at many levels. Our comrades on the Kuro Jahro, Çiyayê Reş and Werxelê, Karker and Şikefta-Birîndara fronts are carrying out actions every day. If it were not for such efficiency and determination, so many actions would not be possible. We would not have the strength to go into action. The fact that we are carrying out so many actions means that all our units are fighting at a high level. But we don't consider that sufficient either. It is only a beginning for us. We will eliminate our existing deficiencies adapted to the enemy's movements and tactics. Accordingly, there will be changes in the war. The enemy thought that we were not prepared in the north, and they did not know that we had prepared well. They saw this as a weakness which they wanted to use against us. This is actually a law of war, to hit the enemy where he does not expect it... This became a disadvantage for the Turkish army and opened up the possibility for us to extend the war to a larger area. Every place the enemy tries to occupy is a field of action for us. The comrades are already taking actions anyway. Now they will develop new tactics in their areas and fight.
WAR ENTAILS SACRIFICES AND WE ARE READY FOR IT
So far, we have not retreated one step from our strategic areas and positions, and we have gained control of the war. In some places, not even a bullet has been fired so far. Fierce fighting is taking place in areas like Şikefta Birîndara, Werxelê, Cehennem and Kuro Jahro. In the places where the fierce fighting is taking place, the enemy has not been able to make any progress. War entails sacrifices, we are ready for that. There is no one among our comrades who is not ready to make sacrifices. There is no retreat. We do not see war only as resistance and defence. Yes, that is part of it, but we are not only defending our country, our region, but we want to turn the attack into a defeat for the enemy and inflict a heavy blow on the Turkish military. The year 2022 also offers us great opportunities. Of course, there are daily changes in the war, but so far, superiority is in our hands. We have also made sacrifices in this war, like our comrades Rohat, Şervan, Şaristan, Şevîn and Viyan. Many of our comrades made sacrifices in order not to retreat one step from the enemy, to destroy it and to be worthy of the reality of the PKK. Many of our precious comrades have fallen. But this is not a reason for us to give in. On the contrary, we will avenge these comrades and be worthy of them.