Turkish Army Suffers Heavy Losses in Kurdistan: Why Does Ankara Hide This?
By the Inside Syria Media Center:
The Inside Syria Media Center reports from Iraq that the Turkish armed forces suffered heavy losses in a battle against the Kurds on 16 February 2016. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters downed a Turkish S-70 Black Hawk helicopter with heavy machine gun fire. The helicopter crashed in an Iraqi region near the border with the Turkish province of Hakkari to the north-west of Erbil. Six Turkish military men died in the crash.
Turkish forces have faced strong resistance from the Kurds from the very beginning of their operation in the area. In fact, the Kurds have to defend themselves with arms in their hands because it is a matter of life and death now.
The Turkish army is good only at killing civilians. The Kurdish-inhabited areas of Diyarbakir, Cizre, Silopi, Mardin are placed under a curfew. The locals face a humanitarian disaster as the Turkish authorities block necessities like medicine and food supplies. Besides this, they keep journalists and representatives of humanitarian organizations away from those areas.
As reported by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), more than 220 civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, have died of water and medicine shortages. Turkish artillery and helicopters have almost totally destroyed residential districts in Cizre in the period December, 2015-February, 2016.
Turkish parliament member Feleknas Uca has said that Turkish forces have burned alive around 150 Kurds in Sirnak province in February, 2016. Moreover, some bodies were found with their heads cut off by Turkish soldiers. These killings are equivalent to the Islamic State's atrocities.
The Turkish army did not stop at the border but has pursued the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. On 13 February the Turkish armed forces shelled the Menagh air base in Syria which the Kurdish militia had recently taken from the IS terrorists.
The military operation against the Kurds has become a war on a regional scale; and both sides are suffering losses. But we hardly know anything about the lost, wounded or captured Turkish soldiers. The question is: why?
The leading Arab media outlets report that dozens of Turkish soldiers and officers are being killed and wounded every day. But no one speaks about this in Turkey. The government has imposed severe censorship in the country. The security forces filter any information that can somehow damage the internal or international reputation of Erdogan's regime.
That's why you will find no information in the Turkish press about the downed helicopter and six military men lost in Iraq on 16 February. However, this is not the first such incident. According to Reuters, the Kurdish militia have previously downed Turkish helicopters in Sirnak province in August and November, 2015.
It's an open secret now that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wishes to restore the Ottoman Empire. So he tries to maintain an image of his 'invincible' army as the most powerful force in the region.
However, the military operation against the Kurds shows that the great power of the Turkish armed forces is just a myth. They can effectively fight only against civilians.