Iraqi Kurdish Paper Says Turkish Military Bases Inside Kurdistan Region (Iraq)


The number of Turkish military personnel inside KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] territory has reached 3,235, which include officers and soldiers. Moreover, they have the following equipment at their disposal: 58 tanks, 27 armoured vehicles, 31 artillery, 26 mortars, 17 RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], 10 Doshka guns [12.7mm machine-gun], 40 military vehicles, 13 BKCs [7.62 mm calibre machine-gun], two pairs of night vision binoculars, three tripod binoculars, 10 sniper rifles, 1 Atar bomb, four satellite mobiles, two Racal [military communications systems], one Rangefinder, two Cranes and an advanced sound silencing device.


(04.08.2008)

Iraqi Kurdish Paper Says Turkish Military Bases Inside Kurdistan Region (Iraq)

The number of Turkish military personnel inside KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] territory has reached 3,235, which include officers and soldiers. Moreover, they have the following equipment at their disposal: 58 tanks, 27 armoured vehicles, 31 artillery, 26 mortars, 17 RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], 10 Doshka guns [12.7mm machine-gun], 40 military vehicles, 13 BKCs [7.62 mm calibre machine- gun], two pairs of night vision binoculars, three tripod binoculars, 10 sniper rifles, 1 Atar bomb, four satellite mobiles, two Racal [military communications systems], one Rangefinder, two Cranes and an advanced sound silencing device.

According to the information obtained by Levin from a federal government source, the Turkish army's personnel are as follows inside KRG territories: 2,564 soldiers, 91 officers, 240 special strike force and 340 Turkish gendarmerie [special branch of Turkish army]. These forces are spread between 13 military bases in the border areas near Duhok Governorate. Apart from the existence of an intelligence branch within the existing forces, there is a special Turkish Intelligence corps in Batofa which has 20 members and is supervised by a Turkish officer called Col Faruq Bug, assisted by Major Umer.

According to information obtained by Levin, the largest Turkish military base in terms of numbers is in the area of Kanimasy in Zakho Province. The military base contains 580 soldiers, 91 officers, 240 Turkish gendarmerie and 340 strike force. However, the largest base logistically is Bamarne base, which is opposite Bamarne Province in Duhok Governorate. The base houses 30 tanks, eight armoured vehicles, six mortars and six military vehicles. Apart from the advance sound device used in intelligence operations, the base contains the largest army intelligence corps inside KRG territories. Kribi base is in Zakho Province and it is within 30 metres of the primary school. The base houses 414 soldiers, six tanks, 15 RPGs, two Doshka guns, six armoured vehicles, 11 artillery guns, 14 military vehicles, 10 sniper rifles, 12 BKC machine-guns, one Atar bomb, one Rangefinder, two satellite mobile phones and one Racal communication device.

The base in Batofa Province in Zakho Governorate houses 400 sliders, six tanks, 21 artillery guns, one armoured vehicles, 14 military vehicles and three pairs of binoculars.

Sinki base is manned by 80 soldiers and is equipped with a 120mm heavy artillery gun. The Siri military base in Amidi Province is manned by 75 soldiers and is equipped with six tanks, three Doshka machine guns, six mortars and four armoured vehicles. The Kobki base is manned by 130 soldiers and houses two tanks.

There are also the bases of Kimry, white cottage and Daray Dawatya, which are manned by 70 soldiers each. The Sari Zayri base has 60 soldiers and Gly Zakho base houses 34 soldiers. Amedy base houses 45 soldiers as well as two RPGs, four rockets, one Doshka machine-gun and two armoured vehicles.

According to a statement published by the committee to find out the truth regarding the Turkish attacks on KRG territory, commissioned by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, the committee has asked the Iraqi parliament to order the expulsion of the Turkish army bases. These bases were established deep into KRG territory at the beginning of the 1990s to carry out military activates, intelligence gathering and spying.

Member of Iraqi Council of Representatives Khirulah Basri said: "The presence of the Turkish army inside KRG territory is unusual and illegitimate. To resolve this issue, the Iraqi government needs to start extensive dialogue with the Turkish government to discuss the issues and compel the Turks to respect the Iraqi people and their borders." He added: "According to international law and the UN Charter, Iraq is an occupied country and the responsibility of an occupied country lies with the occupying force. Therefore, why have the US forces have been acting as a spectator and why have they not taken any actions in that regard?"

According to the committee's report, Turkey has used cluster bombs and prohibited weapons. Basri said: "If Turkey has used banned weapons in Iraq, the committee needs to carry out an investigation in order to clarify the truth, and if it is proven that these weapons have been used, Turkey must be referred to the international court."

According to the Iraqi Council of Representatives envoy report for the area, the Turkish army has used cluster bombs in the shelling of the area surrounding Qandil Mountain. The cluster bomb used is a German make and is classified as a prohibited weapon. Apart from the effects on human life, the bombs have an effect on the environment and it would stay active for many years. Therefore, it is considered a health hazard. The report concluded that, apart from the cluster bombs, chemical and laser weapons have been used. At the present time, parliamentarians are trying to gather evidence and documents. Furthermore, the committee has asked the Iraqi government to inform the German embassy in Iraq through the foreign minister to alert the German government about the situation. The committee has also asked the KRG Environment Ministry to notify the UN and bring charges against Turkey in the international court.

KRG Environment Minister Dara Muhammad Amin made it clear that cluster bombs and other prohibited weapons have been used in the attacks on Qandil Mountain. He announced that they have already sent a team into the area to investigate the claims and added: "The weapons used are banned internationally and the purpose of using the bombs was not only to target the PKK but also to contaminate the environment in that area. Nevertheless, we were not able to finish our investigations because of the insecurity in the area."

When asked whether the KRG would file a complaint against Turkey when the investigation has ended, the KRG environment minister said: "The KRG wants to calm the situation at the moment. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will file a complaint against Turkey at present. Furthermore, in our capacity as the ministry, we are not able to file any complaint against anyone."

Levin has tried to obtain the opinions of Defence and Security Committee as well as the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi parliament. However, none of them were available to discuss the matter. Their excuse was that [Turkish Prime Minister] Erdogan's visit is forthcoming and they do not want to upset Turkey.

Originally published by Levin, Sulaymaniyah, in Sorani Kurdish 15 Jul 08 p4.

Von: 04.08.2008, www.istockanalyst.com

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