Turkey Lifts Curfew in Cizre After Clashes With PKK

Turkey Lifts Curfew in Cizre After Clashes With PKKTurkey Lifts Curfew in Cizre After Clashes With PKK

Turkey’s government has lifted a curfew in the southeastern city of Cizre, the scene of heavy fighting between the army and fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The move on Saturday followed a weeklong curfew, during which 32 fighters were killed, according to officials, Al Jazeera reported.

Sirnak province governor, Ali Ihsan Su, had announced the curfew would end on Saturday morning, in a statement released a day earlier.

The operation against PKK fighters had sparked concern for Cizre’s inhabitants, with reports of food running out, residents unable to seek urgent treatment and even burials impossible.

“During this time, our security forces carried out a successful operation against members of the Separatist Terror Organization,” the statement said, using the customary official term for the PKK.

During the curfew, outsiders had not been allowed to enter the city in what Kurdish activists termed a blockade.

The operation in Cizre, a city of 120,000 on the border with Syria and close to Iraq, was a key part of the government’s drive to cripple the PKK in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, which started in late July and shows no sign of abating.

In a massive new wave of strikes, Turkish warplanes struck 64 PKK targets in overnight raids on northern Iraq, dropping 80 bombs, state media said.

At least 60 PKK fighters were killed in the strikes, carried out by 21 Turkish F-16 and F-4 warplanes.