"It seems the Aktütün controversy was the straw that broke the camel's back. Başbuğ upped the ante so high that I can't imagine how things will get back to normal again."
~ Ruşen Çakır, Vatan.
~ Ruşen Çakır, Vatan.
İlker Başbuğ flipped his lid today over HPG's recent Bezele operation:
"Those, who despite everything show this attack of the terror organization as a success story, share responsibility for the bloodshed. I want everybody to understand this very well," Gen. Ilker Basbug told at a televised press conference held in the western province of Balikesir.
Hmm . . . I don't know . . . it seems to me that if HPG managed to "de-activate" 62 Turkish soldiers at the Bezele (Aktütün) garrison, it certainly sounds like it was a success story and it seems to me that Başbuğ and his paşas share the greatest responsibility for the bloodshed among themselves alone. But wait, there's more:
"The Turkish Armed Forces have full self-confidence and it is stronger, more determined and resolute today than ever. The systematic attacks that had increased in recent days would do nothing but increase strength, determination and will of the Turkish Armed Forces," he said.
[ . . . ]
"The response any army would give to such attacks is obvious, and therefore I call on everyone to act with caution and stand in the correct spot," Basbug said, adding an investigation was launched on the attack.
I wonder if they're going to be making that investigation from the back nine on some Turkish air base? More from Zaman:
“This is my last word: I invite everyone to be careful and to stand in the right position,” Başbuğ told a hastily arranged press conference in the northwestern province of Balıkesir, where he was attending a routine military ceremony. Journalists were flown to Balıkesir from Ankara on two planes, and the brief conference was broadcast live on television. “Those who present the actions of the separatist terrorist organization as successful acts are responsible for the blood that has been shed and will be shed.”
Blah, blah, blah . . .
Başbuğ's issuing threats with a red face because, on Tuesday, Taraf published information about "serious security flaws" on the part of TSK during the Bezele operation. Again, from Zaman:
Aerial infrared images of the Aktütün area in Hakkari, the province bordering northern Iraq where the military outpost was attacked, published in the Taraf daily yesterday clearly show figures approaching the area through the northern Iraqi border. Images from Oct. 3, taken from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), show a group of individuals laying mines at around 9:35 a.m. local time, about three-and-a-half hours before the attack. The group gets larger in the following images as more and more of these individuals -- who eventually attack the outpost -- take their positions on hilltops in preparation for the attack. The UAV camera then switches to the Aktütün military outpost, where the attack occurred. The terrorist raid, which killed 17 young soldiers, was literally broadcast live on General Staff monitors. Taraf said this is concrete evidence that the security forces had been informed about every move made by the PKK terrorists.
Taraf also claimed that the General Staff actually had intelligence about the plans for the attack one month before it occurred. On the day of the attack, live UAV images were transmitted for hours to the Electronic Systems Command of the General Staff, as well as to a monitor in the office of the deputy chief of general staff in the capital.
The General Staff Electronic Systems Command is the same branch of the TSK that was commanded by Münir Ertan, who was silenced by Yaşar Büyükanıt for Ertan's confirmation that the December 2007 bombings of South Kurdistan only resulted in five HPG deaths, as compared to the alleged hundreds of deaths which the Turkish General Staff claimed for public consumption.
Ertan was retired in August.
Taraf published internal security status reports sent to the General Staff -- including one from Sept. 29 -- that featured detailed intelligence about terrorist activity in the region. Even the names, birth places and ages of the terrorists crossing the border, as well as the number of people in various groups formed by the militants, are included in the status reports. A report wired on Oct. 2, just one day before the Aktütün attack, warns that “the PKK is engaged in extensive preparations to attack security forces outposts along the border ahead of a possible cross-border operation.” Even the name of the PKK commander -- Habat, one of the group’s female leaders -- who staged the attack was reported in the Oct. 2 document.
Below is part of the infrared imaging from the UAV as presented on Samanyolu TV. Pay attention to the black-and-white images that are shown:
According to Taraf, these were the UAV images that were beamed to the General Staff Electronic Systems Command. Uninterrupted infrared images can be viewed here.
The biggest lesson to be taken from the Bezele operation and the information published by Taraf is that HPG needs to clamp down on operational security severely and immediately so that future operations are not leaked to TSK ahead of time. No mercy should be shown to those who are willing to unnecessarily jeopardize the lives of our guerrillas.
The second lesson is that the paşas still don't give a shit about the cannon fodder under their command.