Kurdish rebel leaders have confirmed that their fighters will begin withdrawing from Turkey into bases in neighbouring Iraq on Wednesday.
“Our guerrilla forces will take action for starting the pullout process as of May 8, 2013,” the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) command said in a statement carried by Firat on Tuesday.
The first batch of rebels will return to their bases in northern Iraq in a week’s time, according to the PKK.
“This process will continue in a planned and organised way.”
There are an estimated 2,000 armed PKK militants inside Turkey and up to 5,000 in northern Iraq, which has been used by Kurdish rebels as a springboard for attacks targeting Turkish security forces in the southeast.