Mar 05 2018

Syria treats top PKK member as Turkey advances – report

The Syrian government is treating a top terrorist of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who was seriously injured in fighting with Turkish forces in Afrin, Turkey's Yeni Şafak newspaper reported on Monday.

The terrorist, codenamed “the Falcon”, underwent an operation at a hospital in Aleppo, Yeni Şafak said, without saying where it got the information. Huseyin Gabar, the commander of a PKK force defending the town of Rajo in northwestern Afrin, was also badly wounded, it said.

Turkey’s military, backed by fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), have taken Rajo, as well as the key town centres of Bulbul and Sheikh Hadid, and control highways from Rajo and Jinderes, as they advance towards Afrin city, the newspaper reported. The PKK has lost 344 members in three days in fighting at Rajo, it said.

Turkey launched an incursion into Afrin on Jan. 20 to battle the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a force it says is indistinguishable from the PKK, which is battling for autonomy for Kurds in Turkey. The YPG is part of a Kurdish-Arab fighting force helping the United States battle Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

Hundreds of fighters that the PKK leadership has sent from a headquarters in the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq have died, Yeni Safak said.