by Gordon Taylor | 2/27/2008 12:20:00 AM
Again, this will summarize what I've been able to glean from my imperfect readings of various websites, most of which are in Turkish.

(1) If we are to believe PKK sources, the battle does not appear to be going well for the Turkish Army. They lost a helicopter in the first wave of fighting, and the PKK has posted a picture of that downed helicopter, viewable at This is notable in that (a) the TA took a long time even acknowledging the loss of the chopper, and (b) the Kurds are the first party able to get out a photo of the wreckage. Video of that shoot-down has appeared on ROJ-TV, the Kurdish exile channel which is headquartered in Denmark. It was reportedly accomplished by a small band of PKK fighters in white camouflage who hid out overnight near the copters' rendezvous point, then brought one down with a rocket-propelled grenade. You can see the video at Rasti. According to the Turkish Army, of course, everything is going great, and they are advancing with great slaughter of the terrorist enemy. None of the Turkish newspapers, other than the pro-Kurdish (and web only) Ozgur Gundem, has dared to question the official accounts.

(2) The Kurdistan Observer reports that the PKK have launched a four-pronged counter-attack against the Turks. The PKK headquarters commander, Dr. Bahoz Erdal, claimed on Monday morning that the Turks had lost "at least" 81 soldiers to five "martyrs" on his side. (Note: both sides call their dead "martyrs".)The Turks have now upped their count of PKK dead to around 150. Nothing is certain but that bitter, prolonged fighting is taking place in the gorges and mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turks are sending in reinforcements constantly, as are, we can suppose, the PKK. Everyone seems to agree that this is a decisive, epic battle.

(3) Mizgin Yilmaz has posted a Youtube video that shows the Turkish generals deliberately fudging their own casualty figures. The video is in Turkish but with some translation. Be sure to check this out. She also has a more complete roundup of updates, all with her decidedly pro-PKK stance. Be sure to see her comments about "asparagus" (i.e., bullshit)news.

(4) Perhaps most telling of all, the website of the Euphrates News Agency (Firat News), which is closely linked to the PKK, has come under attack from hackers since they first broke the story of the Cobra helicopter's downing. They now require a manual username and password to access the site. This tends to happen whenever Kurdish websites deliver bad news. Firat News, it should be said, has a remarkable network of informants. Any plane that takes off from the Diyarbakir air base is almost immediately noted on their news service. They reported when a column of American military vehicles left Mosul on Saturday and headed for Dohuk, the Kurdish town on the Turkish border, where Turkish tanks are confronting the peshmerga forces. They've noted just recently that an avalanche in the gorge of the river Zab has stalled a military supply column heading for Cukurca, the border town which is a staging area for the ongoing invasion. They get reports seemingly from the back of beyond, noting every Turkish troop movement they can see, every road to which access is suddenly denied. Whether one believes all of their stories is not the point. The point is, the Turks are going into battle next to a populace that is more than ready to spy on their every move and report it to the PKK news service.

(5) Civilian and infrastructure damage to the area has been heavy. Some 83 villages have been damaged or destroyed, including, according to Firat News, at least one Chaldean Christian village. The Kurdish villagers live with the sound of constant shelling, virtually all of which has no purpose other than to terrorize them. The Turkish tanks that one constantly sees on the newsreels have NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER. They can't get anywhere near where the fighting is taking place, and in fact they are flinging shells at empty mountainsides.

(6) As one might expect, demonstrations against the invasion have been occurring wherever Kurds have congregated: Cologne, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, London, the small towns of southeast Turkey A demonstration will take place in San Francisco this Friday, February 29. Kurds from as far away as South Dakota (!!??) are expected.

(7)Last, and certainly of great importance, is the seeming betrayal of the PKK fighters by Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi President and president of the PUK, the second of the two Kurdish parties ruling in Kurdistan. He has, though somewhat ambiguously, told a Turkish TV channel that the PKK are in fact a terrorist group who should leave their headquarters at Kandil Mountain. Kurds in Turkey have demonstrated against him with banners saying, "Remember, Talabani, if they [the Turks]have us for lunch, they'll have you for dinner!"

Stay tuned.




Anonymous Anonymous on 2/27/2008 4:12 AM:

Sounds to me like business as usual in Iraq. Blow up a village, describe all casualties as terrorists. Blow up another village. Describe all casualties as terrorists.

All with US blessing. Now imagine Iran invading Iraq and hitting the Sunni...just imagine how the US would scream bloody murder. No doubt they would claim that all the dead were homeless betters and retarded people.