Turkish Military Braces for More Roadside Bombings

“The Turkish military has been brought face to face with an old enemy: improvised explosive devices, blamed for nearly half the security personnel deaths that have occurred since early July, when a two-year cease-fire between Ankara and Kurdish separatists broke down.”

“A dozen IED bombings by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the past two months have slain 60 Turkish policemen and soldiers. Sixty-seven have been killed in other armed attacks by Kurdish militants, according to a tally by the state-run Anadolu Agency news service.”

“Metin Gurcan, a former Turkish military officer and now a commentator, said the PKK’s IED campaign appears to be part of an effort by the separatists to expand the conflict zone by planting the devices in southeastern rural areas, forcing the Turkish military to spread out and easing pressure on PKK militants in larger towns.”

“The intensified, hit-and-run IED attacks by the PKK are low-risk and relatively effective and sensational operations that could well help relieve pressure on urban areas,” he wrote in a study for the Al-Monitor news site. “The PKK will likely use IED operations on a frequent basis to hamper armored convoy movements by Turkish security forces, sever connections with towns and bewilder the state authority.” (Coordination Center)



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