ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Wednesday announced the death of Sarhad Varto, a member of the foreign relations committee of its political branch, the KCK, along with four fighters who were killed in Turkish airstrikes earlier in March.
The KCK, short for the Kurdish Communities Union, is the greater political organization to which the PKK belongs.
Published on a PKK-affiliated news agency, the announcement listed the names as follows: Sinane Sor (Ali Aktash), Serhat Amanos (Emrullah Dursun), Navdar Sinegir (Mikail Ozdemir), Serhat Shafak (Vahip Tekin), and Shiyar Farashin (Celal Ozturk).
The announcement was a message addressed to their families, informing them about the deaths of their relatives, months after the attack.
Turkey, the EU, and the US have designated the group as a "terrorist organization."
Earlier this month, the PKK also confirmed the death of senior leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed, along with two other fighters in bombardments by Turkish warplanes in the Kurdistan Region's Qandil Mountains.
The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long insurgency against Turkey over Kurdish rights and self-rule since the early 1980s in a conflict that has resulted in the death of over 40,000 people on both sides.
Over the past few years, Turkey has carried out military operations against PKK fighters based within the Kurdistan Region with continued regularity. Turkish forces have crossed into the region up to 30 kilometers deep in some areas to target the group.
Such attacks have led to the evacuation of many villagers from the Kurdistan Region as Ankara’s warplanes continue to damage residential and agricultural lands, and, on occasion, kill civilian bystanders about whom there are no claims of PKK affiliation.
Aggrieved locals have long urged both sides to take their conflict elsewhere.
Editing by Nadia Riva