Turkey steps up offensive in Southern Kurdistan, sending in 10,000 more soldiers

According to a press release issued by the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the Kurdish guerrilla and peshmerga have managed to halt the advance of the Turkish army. The ground and air offensive which began on Thursday will probably last another two weeks.

After putting pressure on Iraqi Kurds for months, under the pretext of eliminating PKK enclaves, the Turkish government has stepped up its military campaign. The offensive had been limited to small incursions and bombing key targets, but yesterday 10,000 Turkish soldiers crossed the border into Iraq.

The guerrilla wing of the PKK, known as the People's Defence Forces (HPG), stated in a press release that there have not yet been any Kurdish casualties, although 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the operation.

HPG has also criticized the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (the party of Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani) for failing to take a stance on the invasion.