HPG says it downed 15 Turkish drones over South Kurdistan

The People’s Defence Forces (HPG) said on Wednesday it had shot down 15 Turkish armed drones with surface-to-air missiles over South Kurdistan between 13 February 2023 and 1 March 2024.

The HPG Central Headquarters Command released a list of Turkish drones which were downed by guerrilla forces starting from 13 February last year. According to the statement, the most recent downing was in the Zap/Ciyaresh region on 1 March 2024.

The HPG mentioned that the drones were downed with a missile system but did not provide any details.

The HPG said Kurdish people were able to acquire the missile system and provide it to the guerrilla “despite all the efforts of the enemy (Turkish state) to isolate our people in the international arena.”

The HPG’s statement followed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee member Murat Karayilan’s interview on March 15, saying that they will announce “good news” on the eve of Newroz, Kurdish New Year.

The HPG also said the footage of the drones being shot down will be released soon.

“Except in a few cases, the incidents involving UCAVs were recorded, and this footage clearly shows that the enemy vehicles were shot down,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the first downing of an armed drone was on February 13, 2023, over Garê in South Kurdistan.

Six of the 15 downed drones were TB2 BAYRAKTAR type drones. Five were ANKAs, two were AKINCIs and two were AKSUNGURs.

“We have never been more committed and determined to play a role against all forces which seek to threaten the brotherhood and freedom of the peoples. Today, with proven tactical expansion and technical means, our potential to fight with high performance and our determination to secure victory have become much stronger”, the statement read.

The HPG’s statement reads as follows:

"On the eve of a new spring, we welcome Newroz, the festival of resurrection and freedom. First of all we celebrate the Newroz of Réber Apo, who gave us the idea, the will, the spirit and the resilience of freedom, and we salute our leadership with great respect.

We celebrate the Newroz Day of the heroic people of Kurdistan to friends of our people’s and all democratic humanity that follows the tradition of Newroz.

In the persona of Comrade Mazlum Doğan, a.k.a the Contemporary Kawa, who gave this day a deeper meaning with the Newroz fire in his body, we commemorate all our heroic martyrs with gratitude. And we reiterate once again that we will keep the memories of our martyrs alive in the struggle for "Free Reber Apo (Ocalan), Free Kurdistan" as the guardian of the flag of victory which our martyrs handed over to us.

It is known that the genocidal Turkish state has been developing attacks on all levels against our people's freedom struggle for years. Turkish state is  trying to gain superiority over our struggle with the political, military, and technical support of regional and international powers by using their country’s geo-strategic position.

The fascist AKP-MHP regime is and has been aiming to isolate our people and our movement from the world. It wants to deprive our people of their friends. However, it is also seen that the colonialist genocidal Turkish state has not been able to achieve the desired result against the just cause of our people on this issue, as in all other issues.

The UCAVs (Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) -which genocidal Turkish state has managed to produce with the support of some international powers- are the tools that Turkey has most relied on, in the total war against our movement.

The genocidal AKP-MHP regime, launched attacks against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla and our people based on these UCAVs. And Turkish state believed that they would achieve a definite result against our struggle with this weapon.

The Turkish state has carried out dozens of attacks against our innocent people in various parts of our country, especially in South Kurdistan and Rojava, and massacred hundreds. The Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla foiled fascism's plan to invade South Kurdistan with the great resistance it showed on the basis of the Newroz spirit and developed new tactics against the attacks of the genocidal Turkish state.

In addition, despite all the efforts of the enemy (Turkish state) to isolate our people in the international arena, the Kurdish people’s efforts matched the Turkish state’s efforts and our people were able to provide the missile system necessary for this war. The Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla has had the opportunity and ability to neutralize the UCAVs that the Turkish state and its army rely on, propagandize the abilities of it everywhere, try to change the balance of war based on it, and carry out assassinations and massacres with it in Kurdistan every day.

Since February 13, 2023, a total of 15 UAVs of various types have been shot down by our forces. The list of the incidents are as follows:

- BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Garê on February 13, 2023

- BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Garê on February 18, 2023

- On June 8, 2023, ANKA over Qandil

- BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Qendil on June 14, 2023

- On June 21, 2023, ANKA over Garê

- AKSUNGUR over Qandil on June 22, 2023

- On July 5, 2023, AKINCI over Garê

- BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Garê on July 8, 2023

- ANKA over Qandil on July 17, 2023

- On July 30, 2023, AKINCI over Qendil

- On August 15, 2023, ANKA over Western Zap

- BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Zap / Shikefta Birîndara on November 5, 2023

- On November 6, 2023, AKSUNGUR over Western Zap

- On December 28, 2023, BAYRAKTAR TB2 over Western Zap.

- On March 1, 2024, ANKA type armed and tactical unmanned aerial vehicle was destroyed by our forces over Zap / Chiyaresh.

Except a few cases, the incidents involving downing of UCAVs were recorded and these footages clearly show that the enemy vehicles were shot down. The footages and documents of the relevant incidents will be served to the public opinion by HPG-BIM.

The new process that has started with Newroz is a milestone on the way to freedom of the Kurdish people and a culmination of the campaign for our Leader Apo's freedom and the solution to the Kurdish issue.

On this basis, Newroz 2024 will also be the beginning of a new process. In this historical process, in which our people's struggle for freedom will be carried on at a higher level, the HPG will play its role and will show its ability to successfully fulfill the tasks of the times in accordance with the spirit of the times and will be locked to the aim of liberation of Leader Apo.

We have never been more committed and determined to play a role against all forces which seek to threaten the friendship and freedom of the peoples. Today, with proven tactical and technical abilities, our potential to fight with high performance and our determination to secure victory have become much stronger.

As we share good news for Newroz, we celebrate the Newroz of 2024 to all our patriotic people, to our comrades resisting in prisons, mountains of Kurdistan and all areas of struggle, and we wish everyone great success in the historic march to victory and the liberation of Leader Apo and Kurdistan.

Long live Newroz, the Day of Resistance of Oppressed Peoples!

Long Live Newroz to Our Martyrs Who Enlighten Our Path!

Long Live the Revolutionary People's War!

Long Live the Newroz Party PKK!

Bijî Serok Apo!

March 20, 2024