Guerrillas respond to Turkish attacks

As the Turkish army continued its attacks against guerrilla areas, the guerrillas exercised their right to self-defence five times, destroying a Turkish grenade launcher.

In its daily overview of the war in Kurdistan, the press centre of the People's Defence Forces (HPG) reported continued attacks by the Turkish occupation forces and confrontations after self-defence actions of the guerrillas in the Medya Defence Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Four contacts with the enemy occurred on 19 and 20 April in the Girê Cûdî resistance area in the Zap region, when guerrilla fighters responded to attacks carried out by the Turkish army with heavy weapons and howitzers.

In the Girê FM resistance area, guerrillas from YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) exercised their right to self-defence when they were attacked twice with heavy weapons within half an hour of each other on Thursday morning. During the ensuing fighting, YJA Star guerrillas destroyed a grenade launcher used by Turkish troops.

HPG also reported three airstrikes by Turkish fighter jets on the Girê Çarçêl and Golka areas in Metîna and the Girê Amêdî resistance area on 20 April. According to the HPG statement, the Turkish army used a prohibited weapon against a guerrilla position in Sîda. In addition, 68 attacks with howitzers, tanks and heavy weapons have been directed against Girê FM, Girê Cûdî, Çemço and Sîda in the past two days.

Turkey's attacks continue despite a ceasefire announced by the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). The decision was taken after the devastating earthquake disaster in the Turkish-Syrian border area on 6 February. The Kurdish guerrillas, which include the HPG and the YJA Star (Free Women's Troops), are implementing the call for a cessation of all hostilities and are in a defensive position.

In a statement on February 9, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization of the Kurdish freedom movement of which the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) is also a member, called for a halt of military actions in Turkey, in metropolises and cities. “It is necessary to prevent the people from experiencing even more suffering in this affliction”, said Cemil Bayık, co-chairman of the executive council of the KCK.

The Central Headquarters of the People's Defence Forces (HSM) expressed support for the KCK's call and said on February 11 that the guerrillas were ready to do their part to alleviate the suffering of people.

On March 27, the KCK Executive Council co-chair Besê Hozat announced that the unilateral ceasefire would remain in place until after the elections to be held in Turkey on May 14.

According to the annual balance sheet for the war in the Medya Defence Zones, published by the Central Headquarters of the People's Defence Forces on April 14, the Turkish army carried out 3,730 attacks with chemical and other unconventional bombs on guerrilla areas, 4,233 attacks by combat aircraft and 5,628 attacks by combat helicopters.