Yet another invasion attempt by the Turkish army
The invasion attempt of Turkish troops into Southern Kurdistan on the night of 14 December is neither the first nor the last one. This operation was foreseeable, as troops had been moved to the border amid declaration of military restricted zones.
On 14 December 2017, the Turkish military engaged in an invasion attempt on Hill Siro, which is located in the border area between Northern and Southern Kurdistan. On the northern side, it is located near Şemzinan (Şemdinli), close to Diyana province in the south. The region is of strategic importance because it is located near the triangle area between Iraq, Iran and Turkey. For this reason, it is constantly the target of occupation attempts. The Turkish army has often attacked this area in recent years.
In the first stage, the Siro hill and its foothills, Geliyê Reş, Kanîreş, Evdilkovî hill and its foothills, Kitkîne and the Masîro strait, Arî and Haşimi areas were bombarded by F-16 fighter jets accompanied by drones. In addition, the village Bermizê and the surrounding area as well as the area of Deşta Heyate were bombarded by helicopters. Troops were airdropped by helicopters on Siro hill.
The people of Bermizê did not leave the village despite heavy bombing, signaling that they wanted to resist with HPG and YJA STAR guerrilla forces. A villager explained that people wanted to arm themselves and fight with the guerrillas if the Turkish army continued their attacks: "Without the approval of the Government of Southern Kurdistan, the Turkish military would not have crossed the border for five or six kilometers, and not get deployed in the upper territory of Bermizê village."
Village guards from Gerdiya also participate in the military operation. They say they have been cheated by the Turkish army. They were previously informed only that they would have to fulfill a short-term mission and they were forced to participate in the cross-border operation. Other village guards were ordered to be ready for a possible operation.
Whether the occupation operation will be extended or not, will be understood better in the coming days. Currently there is no advance by the Turkish troops apart from the Siro hill. The operation continues mainly with fighter jets, drones and helicopters and from the ground with artillery attacks. Also this operation will end with a fiasco like its predecessors. So far, the Turkish military is trying to get ahead exclusively through air strikes. There are no clashes with the guerrillas. According to our observations, the guerrillas rather follow the movements of the Turkish military. The AKP government's propaganda about the smart ammunition owned by the Turkish army proves to be empty. Despite the intense air strikes ongoing for three days, there are no losses on the side of the guerrillas. This means that the operation is a fiasco right from the start. It shows that the guerrillas are prepared. The soldiers avoid direct battles and limit themselves to a single hill peak.
The governments of Iraq and Southern Kurdistan are silent on this invasion attempt, causing reactions from the local people. Nevertheless, there is no official statement from the competent authorities. It is known that the Turkish state is constantly looking for allies in the region for its fight against the Kurds. It is currently unclear whether the Southern Kurdistani forces will be an instrument to it.
Ultimately, all methods have already been tried without result. The manner may change, but the core is the same. Sometimes, troops are thrusted forward and sometimes the technique. If these operations had led to success, the Kurdish liberation movement would have been finished off 40 years ago.