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Turkish army forced into humiliating retreat in 'biggest war in Kurdistan in recent years'

KURDISH guerilla fighters said they had forced Turkey into a humiliating retreat in “the biggest war in Kurdistan in recent years” today as details of the heavy blows inflicted against Turkish soldiers were revealed.

Nato’s second-largest ground army withdrew troops from three bases in the Zap mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan last month, where it has met fierce resistance from Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters.

The PKK said its forces had launched a number of offensives against Turkish military positions in the area known as the Medya defence zones — the mountainous border region in Duhok province where battle has raged for the past eight months.

“The Turkish army received heavy blows during these actions in which we suffered no casualties, and the tactics of the new guerilla warfare were successful,” a PKK statement said.

It accused Turkey’s armed forces of spreading misinformation to cover up the truth about its defeat at the hands of the resistance fighters. 

Turkish forces launched Operation Claw-Lightning in April, claiming that it was a military offensive against the PKK.

But it has been accused of a litany of war crimes including the bombings of a hospital and a refugee camp and the use of chemical weapons against civilian populations, as well as in tunnels belonging to guerilla fighters.

The PKK said it had lost 40 “martyrs” as a result of chemical weapons attacks since Turkey launched “the biggest war in Kurdistan in recent years” in April.

“The fighters who fell after days of encirclement and massive use of chemical weapons were to leave a beacon of resistance,” the PKK said.

Turkey has denied using chemical weapons, insisting that it does not hold a stockpile of banned munitions as a signatory to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention and a member state of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

But the Morning Star has visited the affected areas and met with dozens of villagers who presented with burns and breathing difficulties after Turkish artillery fire. 

Medics reported that they had been threatened and forced by Kurdistan Democratic Party forces to alter reports saying they had treated patients for the effects of chemical weapons attacks.

Turkey’s occupation has seen it establish more than 80 military bases and a military airport from which it launches drones that terrorise the local population.

The Star has seen the ongoing construction of the sites, as well as a network of roads that links them together and enables Turkey to transport resources plundered from the region.

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