Werxelê - the expression of modern guerrilla warfare

The three-month resistance of the guerrillas in Werxelê on the Turkish border in southern Kurdistan represents the new tactics the guerrillas are using to outmaneuver NATO's second largest army.

The resistance of the People's Defense Forces (HPG) against the Turkish invasion of the Medya Defense Zones has been going on for more than four months now. In the fifth month of resistance, the Avaşîn area is one of the most important fronts. The fiercest battles are taking place there. At the same time, Avaşîn is one of the areas that the Turkish state is trying to occupy most urgently and intensively. After the clashes in Mamreşo, Merwanos, Aris Faris, Dola Mara, Dola Konferans areas, the Turkish troops were deployed against Werxelê area from June 7 to bring this border area under their control. However, it remained with several attempts. From June 7 until today, that is for almost three months, the fighters of the HPG and the YJA-Star have been successfully resisting the invading troops from the war tunnels that cover the whole area.

Werxelê: The gateway to the defense areas

The Turkish army wanted to expand the borders of the occupation operation by attacking Werxelê. Werxelê has a special strategic importance because the area is one of the border points of Avaşîn and represents a gateway to the guerrilla areas. The conquest of Werxelê would open up the possibility of expanding the occupation to the other regions. For this reason, the guerrilla forces have been defending their war tunnels and the area like a fortress since June 7.

The attack on the region started at 6:40 p.m. on June 7, 2021, when Turkish attack helicopters began bombing the tunnel facilities in Werxelê. The attack on the tunnels was to herald the Turkish operation in the area. They announced what was to befall the region. That night, the Turkish army attacked with fighter jets, reconnaissance planes, attack helicopters, Sikorsky helicopters and armed drones. The attack lasted until dawn. Unlike the Turkish army, the guerrilla fighters waited calmly in their safe positions. They were perfectly clear about what they were going to do and immediately attacked the first troops who tried to occupy the region on the ground.

From the defensive position to the offensive

Since June 7, the resistance has become more and more intense. After the Turkish army's attempt to enter the Werxelê area, the war in Avaşîn took on a completely different dimension, and the guerrillas switched positions from defensive to offensive. From defending the attacks at the beginning, the guerrillas switched to attacking the Turkish army's positions offensively. Dozens of such actions were carried out. It was no longer the Turkish army that carried out an operation, but the guerrillas. In particular, the infiltration operations on July 18 and August 2 by the guerrillas in the field and the attack on August 12 from the war tunnels on the slopes of Werxelê, in which 200 kilograms of explosives were seized by the guerrillas, broke the camel's back for the Turkish soldiers. Since then, the guerrillas have witnessed fierce quarrels between soldiers and commanders. Even if the Turkish army does not want to admit it, it was the mistake of its life to advance to Werxelê.

As if the harsh terrain conditions of the Zagros and the temperatures above 45 degrees were not enough, the soldiers, desperate under the orders of their commanders, could not even carry their bags anymore. The roads that the soldiers used in Werxelê are now littered with the bags filled with vital supplies that the soldiers had left behind. There is no need to talk about the combat performance of soldiers who are not even able to carry their own weapons anymore. The guerrilla infiltration operation on August 2 revealed the situation. While the guerrillas entered the military position and killed eight soldiers within three minutes, the soldiers ran around for minutes looking for their weapons and ammunition. The guerrillas were able to retreat without any casualties.

After these developments in the field, the Turkish soldiers mainly limited themselves to going around like peddlers and declaring over loudspeakers, "Come and surrender." Especially after the recent guerrilla actions, the Turkish army announces every day through its loudspeakers, "Come, we will give you water, we will give you supplies, the state will take good care of you." The Turkish army's efforts to find weak points are becoming increasingly ridiculous for the guerrillas. The guerrilla fighters in these tunnels have been preparing for the possibility of a war that could last for years, if necessary. Probably the last thing they would do is surrender for water and supplies. That is what the soldiers care about most. In other words, the Turkish army's belief that it can bamboozle 21st century guerrillas with water and a piece of bread ultimately reveals its own mindset.

Just as the Turkish army had to admit defeat after the Gare resistance, it will surely have to admit defeat soon now, especially in the Werxelê region. There, dozens of soldiers of the Turkish army were killed and their vital supplies were confiscated. The guerrilla fighters repeatedly inflicted heavy blows on the soldiers with the hundreds of kilos of explosives they had taken from them. As a result of the actions carried out in the field, the soldiers threw away their weapons and fled. Despite the use of chemical warfare agents in the war tunnels, they have not been able to kill or make a combatant surrender for almost three months. Most importantly, they entered the Werxelê area and were surrounded by the guerrilla fighters who tried to encircle them. For three months, the Turkish army has been unable to advance or retreat. The guerrilla fighters are determined to prevent the soldiers from retreating as well.

This is not only the defeat of the Turkish army in the battle of Werxelê. It is one of the largest armies in the world that has not been able to stand against a group of guerrilla fighters for three months.