first published on August 7, 2017 by Sean
An isolated Turkish OP sustains a vicious PKK raid. An eerily reminiscent scene for OEF Hindu Kush Veterans.
An isolated Turkish OP overlooking a road becomes the target of a well-armed and very well-supplied PKK raid. A support by fire position riddles the Turkish position with what seems to be a never-ending supply of machine gun ammo and multiple RPGs. The sustained and highly effective fire keeps the Turks’ heads down while a small raiding party moves in closer. With the ridgeline thoroughly suppressed and several fires raging, the PKK fighters assault the position tossing hand grenades and causing further carnage. With fighters bearing down on them and withering fire still raking the ridgeline, the surviving Turks make a break for it and several of them appear to escape down the mountain. With the Turks pushed back, the PKK raiding party safely retreats up the mountain. At this point, the Turkish position on the valley floor near the road appears to be suffering under the same withering PKK fire and thick smoke can be seen emanating from the lower position.
This video may seem eerily familiar to any veterans of Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush mountains. The narrow river valley, the exhausting movements, the sparse cover; all reminiscent of tours in places like Nangarhar, Nuristan, and Kunar provinces. The enemy always knows your exact position and disposition, and patiently waits to strike at your most vulnerable. A friendly position or maneuver element may be within sight, but due to the arduous terrain, may as well be on another planet. Close air support and indirect fires are crucial to operations where units can be so easily isolated. To find yourself exposed and without air or indirect assets, is to leave yourself open to these types of vicious attacks.