- Zaleh was a camp in the mountains northeast of Sulaymaniya in northern Iraq near the Iranian border where some 1,700 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were supposedly interred by Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) following the bloody fighting that occurred between them in October 1992. Turkey had backed the PUK and the other Iraqi Kurdish party—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) — against the PKK.Soon many Turkish commentators, however, began to accuse Ta-labani of having provided a new base and safehouse for the PKK in the Zaleh camp. In January 1994, therefore, Turkish planes destroyed the camp, but the PKK successfully escaped before the blow fell. Instead, some Turkish bombs erroneously fell across the border in Iran, where they killed some 20 Iranians.Ironically, the PKK and the PUK fell into conflict in 2000. In part this was due to the PKK trying to establish further roots in the Zaleh area, a situation that seemed to threaten the PUK's base. The Turkish capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, had forced the PKK to withdraw farther from the Turkish border on to the Kandil Mountains in nominal PUK territory.
Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Michael M. Gunter.
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