Outlawed PKK widely uses IED in terror attacks

Improvised explosive device (IED) has been widely used by PKK while carrying out terror attacks across Turkey

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Several improvised explosive devices have been seized during anti-terror operations

Updated Sep 9, 2015

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has become one of the main tools that outlawed PKK is using in terror attacks across Turkey as the militant group increased its assults recently.

According to the reports, at least 59 Turkish security officials have been killed in 12 different IED bomb attacks carried out by the outlawed PKK.

IEDs have been causing the deadliest terror attacks since the PKK’s umbrella organisation, the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) ended ceasefire with the Turkish state on July 11, killing a total of 112 Turkish security officials in many other terror attacks and threatening Turkey with further attacks.

The PKK which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, NATO, the US, and EU. 

‘Deadliest terror attack’ carried out by IED

Among the PKK’s IED bomb attacks, one of them is considered the militant group’s deadliest - since the militant group announced they ended the ceasefire - killing 16 Turkish security officials in Turkey’s southeastern Hakkari province on September 6.

The soldiers were reportedly killed when PKK terrorists detonated a roadside IED mine in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari, as two armoured vehicles were passing.

Stepping up security measures following the attack, Turkey's Chief of Staff reported that two F-16 and two F-4 Turkish fighter jets have launched air strikes, hitting 13 PKK targets. Numerous members of the militant organization have also been neutralized.

Additionally, the latest IED attack that was carried out by the outlawed PKK claimed the lives of 12 Turkish policemen, when a remote-controlled bomb which was previously placed on a road detonated while the police bus was passing.

The attack hit the police bus carrying the policemen, while they were escorting customs officials that were working at the Dilucu Border Gate, located in Turkey’s Azerbaijan border province of Igdir.

Use of IED by militant groups

The IEDs are generally used by militant groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS in terror attacks.

They were extensively used against the US-led forces in Iraq and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

According to the Washington Post, 63 percent of US casualties in Iraq were caused by IEDs between March 2001 and September 2007. Meanwhile, 41 percent of the casualties in Afghanistan were caused by similar attacks between October 2001 and September 2007.

ISIS has also adopted the use of IEDs in Syria by using Iraq-war tactics.

On June 30, a footage of the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, PYD militant group was published showing him survive after stepping on ISIS-planted IED bomb. However, several casualties have been reported by the group in recent months.

As Syria is struggling with ISIS's IEDs, the PKK has also started to use of the same tactics against Turkish security forces throughout the country.

PKK constructing IEDs in safe houses

Widely using IEDs in its terror attacks, the PKK is constructing the devices in its safe houses.

Conventional military explosives such as artillery shells or high-explosive charges are generally used by PKK while constructing the bomb mechanisms. Homemade explosives such as chemicals, fertilizers or swimming pool cleaning tablets can also be used.

While filming a documentary on the PKK’s youth wing [YDH-G], Vice News journalist Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury recorded the militants preparing molotov cocktails and IEDs.

The YDG-H militants shown in the documentary say that they “fight for autonomy in Turkey,” the documentary also showed them preparing for terror attacks in Cizre district of Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province, where most of the PKK attacks have been carried out.

Hanrahan and Pendlebury were arrested on Aug. 31 by Turkish court order, under charges of "knowingly and willingly helping the armed terrorist organisation [PKK] without being a part of its hierarchical structure."

The decision came following an investigation of the footage filmed by the journalists, showing the militants of the PKK’s youth wing [YDG-H].

The journalists who have been arrested over charges of being affiliated with the PKK terrorist group were released on Sept. 3.

The PKK is an armed militant group that has been carrying out terror attacks mostly in southeast Turkey, since the early 1980s.

The 30-year armed conflict between the Turkish state, the militant group has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

In early 2013, Turkey launched a “Peace Process” to end years of armed conflict with the PKK and build reforms regarding the constitution. However, the PKK decided to end the ceasefire on July 11, 2015 using the construction of dams in southeastern Turkey as an excuse.

TRTWorld and agencies