Saturday, October 21, 2017
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Syrian rebels: Kurdish PKK commander killed in Qamishli

Fehman Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd, has been killed as he traveled to northern Syrian city of Qamishli, state media says.

A senior commander of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) armed group has been killed in a bomb attack on his car in northeast Syria, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.

If confirmed, the killing of Fehman Huseyin would be a major blow to the PKK, which has been fighting against the Turkish state in the country's southeast since a two-year-old ceasefire collapsed a year ago. Thousands of fighters, Turkish security force members and civilians have since died in the conflict.

Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd known in Turkey by the code name Bahoz Erdal, was killed on Friday evening as he travelled to the northern Syrian city of Qamishli, Anadolu said.

It cited the spokesman of a Syrian rebel group it named as the Tel Khamis Brigades as the source for the report.

The spokesman, Khalid al Khasakewi, said at least eight people were killed in the car in which Huseyin was travelling and that the attack was carried out after the rebel group had been tracking him for some time.

"We dedicate this the Syrian people," Khasakewi was quoted as saying, indicating his group had carried out the attack.

While the PKK leadership is mainly based in the mountains of northern Iraq, the group is closely allied with Syria-based Kurdish Democratic Union Party and their armed fighters, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey views both groups as terrorist organisations. The US and EU also consider PKK a terrorist group.

Bomb attack in southeast Turkey

Earlier on Saturday, PKK fighters carried out a car bomb attack on a military outpost in southeast Turkey and then opened fire on the facility, killing two soldiers and a civilian and wounding dozens of others, security sources and Turkish media said.

The noon car bombing targeted the Cevizlik village outpost in Mardin province, which borders Syria.

The attack came a day after Turkish troops killed 19 PKK fighters in clashes elsewhere in the mainly Kurdish region.

Separately, further north in the Baskale district of Van province, security force members who were destroying explosives planted beside a road were engaged in a firefight and killed two PKK fighters, one of them female, the military said in a statement. 

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