MESOP REPORT : PKK denies death of its military commander

HASAKAH – The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Saturday denied the news that PKK military commander Bahoz Erdal was killed in Syria.  ARA NEWS  – 10 July 2016 – A spokesperson of the unknown Tel Hamis brigade told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Erdal’s car was blown up on Friday in Qamishli city in northeastern Syria, with his guards. The news was quickly denied by the PKK. “Our Commander Bahoz Erdal is on his duty in the mountains of Kurdistan,” said Bahtiyar Dogan, the official spokesperson of the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), accusing the Turkish media of spreading lies.

“We know that no one believes such false news. It’s obvious that these news are merely produced to hit the morale of our forces and interrupt their advance,” he added.

The only reported explosion on Friday was one car of the Syrian Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), that was damaged by exploding ammunition, injuring two members of the YPG, the local Kurdish police said in a statement. According to Ilhan Tanir, a Washington-based analyst and journalist specialized in Turkish politics, the Turkish government has repeatedly announced the death of Bahoz Erdal.

“When you look at archives you can see about every year the similar ‘breaking’ news out there [that Erdal is killed]. It is of course possible he has been indeed hit but just to be on the safe side it is better to wait for confirmation,” he told ARA News.

“It’s also important to remember that the AKP government desperately needs some kind of victory, real or imaginary. They need to change the news cycle for positive. Otherwise Turkish administration only makes headlines by their apologies, diplomatic defeats and security vulnerabilities. Turkish government needs some positive spin in news cycles even if it lasts only 24 hours,” he concluded.