Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PKK Fighters Arrive in Iraqi Kurdistan

Symbolic Step In Ending 30-Year Insurgency

The first group of Kurdish fighters to withdraw from Turkey under a recent peace agreement today entered the border area of the Iraqi Kurdistan and were greeted by their comrades from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The move was a symbolic step towards ending a three-decades-old insurgency. The arriving fighters carried Kalashnikov assault rifles, light machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

PKK fighters began leaving their positions in southeast Turkey earlier this month after a ceasefire was declared by Abdullah Ocalan, their jailed leader, to end the conflict that has killed 40,000 people.

“We ask the Turkish side to be sincere with us so we can achieve the common interest,” said Ciger Gewker, who spoke on behalf of the arriving fighters. “The next step is up to Turkey. If they deal with our move in a positive manner it will be quicker,” he added. (Al Jazeera, 14 May)
Photo credit: PKK fighters arrived in the Iraqi Kurdistan on the Turkish border. (AFP/Getty Images/Safin Hamed)

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