Under pressure, terrorist PKK could be on last legs


By Orhan Onur Gemici

ANKARA (AA) – The PKK terror group has been seriously crippled over the past two years amid rising pressure in Turkey and abroad, according to sources in Turkey’s security forces.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.

Security sources told Anadolu Agency that they are working tirelessly to wipe the group off the face of the country, having neutralized over 1,000 members since the beginning of the year.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

In some 2,700 operations against the group’s urban network, more than 12,000 suspects have been taken into custody with roughly 3,000 arrests this year, the sources said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The increased pressure has severely crippled the terror group, whose ranks in the countryside thinned to a new low of 750 terrorists, according to the sources, who added that it was struggling to find new recruits.

The sources added that with recruitment in free fall and defections on the rise, the PKK is well on its way to disintegrating.

Security forces have also been working to uncover the financial backers of the group and its affiliates as well as those lobbying on its behalf abroad, according to the sources.