Fehman Hüseyin, one of the main leaders of PKK’s armed branch HPG nicknamed “Doctor Bahoz Erdal”, was killed in Syria, according to Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency.
Halid el Hasekavi, spokesman of anti-regime armed group Tel Hamis Brigades, told AA correspondent that Hüseyin was targeted near northern Syrian city of Qamishli.
He stated that Hüseyin’s car was blown up at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, and he was killed along with eight people including his guards, which he described as “good news” for Syrian and Turkish peoples.
Hasekavi said that PKK is an invader at Syrian soil and one of the biggest supporters of Bashar Assad regime. “We present this operation as a gift to Syrian martyrs, veterans and honorable Syrian people being tortured in Syria’s dungeons” he said.
Born in 1969, Hüseyin is a Syrian Kurd who studied medicine at university – thus nicknamed ‘Doctor’ – in Damascus. Following PKK’s leader Abdullah Öcalan’s capture in 1999, he shared the leadership of the terrorist organization with Murat Karayılan and Cemil Bayık and was among the figures included in Turkey’s most wanted list. He commanded the armed branch HPG particularly and known as the mastermind of bloody attacks against Dağlıca and Aktütün military outposts.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Hüseyin has reportedly served as the main intermediary between PKK leadership and PYD, which is regarded by Turkey as the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist group.
Known for his opposition to dialogue and peace negotiations with the Turkish state, Hüseyin was also the alleged leader of Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) group, which is claimed to have split from PKK to pursue more violent tactics. TAK also deliberately targets Turkish resort towns and historic landmarks to hinder Turkey’s tourism sector.
Active since mid-2000’s, TAK was blamed for suicide and car bombings against civilian targets, which had increased since the end of the reconciliation process between Turkey and PKK in July 2015. Here are recent attacks claimed by TAK:
- Mortar attack on Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, killing one cleaning personnel on Dec. 23, 2015.
- Car bomb attack on military personnel shuttles near the Turkish General Command in central Ankara, killing 28 Turkish military personnel and 1 civilian on Feb. 17, 2016.
- Car bomb attack in the central Kızılay square of Ankara killing 37 civilians and injuring more than 120 others on March 13, 2016.
- Suicide bomb attack near the historic Grand Mosque in northwestern city of Bursa injuring 13 civilians thirteen on April 27, 2016.
- Car bomb attack on a police bus near Istanbul University campus in Fatih district killing seven police officers and four civilians on June 7, 2016.
Before the recent surge in attacks, TAK had claimed at least 11 attacks between 2005 and 2011 in large Turkish cites and resort towns, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.
Since PKK resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015, nearly 600 security personnel, including soldiers, police officers, and village guards, have been killed. In response, more than 5,000 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.