Turkey stuck with preparations for operation in the Gara Mountains

Turkey stuck with preparations for operation in the Gara Mountains

June 2024

Update & Explainer – Southern Kurdistan / Iraq: As previously reported, Turkey announced a comprehensive military operation in the Gara Mountains this summer, but guerrilla resistance has foiled its plans.

Earlier this year, AKP officials ramped up their war rhetoric, highlighting preparations for new military campaign in Southern Kurdistan under the pretext of the “Development Road” project, a road, rail & pipeline route connecting the port of Basra with Turkey. In spring Erdoğan highlighted near completion of a security perimeter along the Turkish-Iraqi border, aiming to permanently crush the Kurdish Freedom Movements Guerrilla by summer.

As KurdistanWatch correctly analysed, a comprehensive military operation in the Gara Mountains is of major significance. The region is crucial for the guerrillas capability to thwart wider Turkish occupation attempts in Southern Kurdistan. To proceed with an operation in Gara, Turkish occupation forces must first control Metina & parts of the Zap mountain range. This is the main goal of the large-scale operations launched in April, which essentially began with operations in Avaşîn, Zap, & Metîna from 2021 onwards.

A Source close to the Guerrilla states “relative progress of the Turkish Armed Forces was entirely due to war technology, not to the fighting capacity of the soldiers.” As the Guerrilla developed anti-drone measures, the balance on the battlefield changed dramatically. According to the guerrilla, the military wing of the PKK, close to 20 drones were destroyed during the last 16 Months

“The soldiers of the Turkish army, whose technical superiority had been neutralized, were literally trapped in Zap & Metina.” the sources continues. Ironically, Turkish armed forces had called the operation “claw-lock”. Now it is the occupiers themselves who are being locked in

In a interview given in Mid-June Besê Hozat, KCK co-chair explains: as Turkey is not able to succeed “It wants the Peshmerga & Iraq to take part in this war more openly & actively. […] They are pushing & pressuring Iraq. But Iraq has obviously not fully accepted Turkey’s impositions.”
Murat Karayilan recently noted that Iraqi participation in military actions against the Guerrilla would not only justify the invasion but also erode Iraqi sovereignty. He emphasized importance for Iraqi authorities to withstand Turkish pressure & protect their national interests.

As of today, Turkey failed to capture crucial points in Metina, vital for securing supply & transport routes for an operation in Gara. Despite massive aerial raids & use of chemical weapons Turkish forces can’t take the Guerrilla’s heavily fortified positions & war tunnels. Nevertheless, as foreseen by the Kurdish Freedom Movement attacks intensified during the last weeks: “We said that at the end of May-early June the war would intensify and gain scope. And this is what is happening now.” ads Besê Hozat.

Under the guise of economic development, Turkey’s occupation of Southern Kurdistan risks lives and livelihoods. With over 50,000 troops stationed there, part of a broader elimination campaign against Kurds, this aggression must cease in order to protect the region’s people

More Information on Turkey’s “Development Road” project and its role in the war against the Kurdish Freedom Movement

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