Turkey’s war against the Kurds in North Iraq

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Press Release

Turkey’s war against the Kurds in North Iraq

While pogroms against Syrian refugees in Turkey and the display of fascist wolf salutes by Turkish national team player Demiral and thousands of Turkish fans during the European Football Championship -supported by the Turkish army and its mercenaries– made headlines around the world, Turkey’s occupation of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq continues steadily.

Since June 15, Turkey started a new ground military operation in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Since then hundreds of Turkish armored vehicles, tanks and troops have been deployed, establishing checkpoints, conducting identity checks of Kurdish citizens and attempting to evacuate villages in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Fires have broken out in large areas due to ongoing bombing.

The invasion follows president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Baghdad and Erbil in April 2024. Erdoğan obtained a green-light for its invasion, in return for lucrative concessions on oil, infrastructure and water given to the Iraqi Federal Government and KRG.

In recent days, the influx of soldiers and armored vehicles in Duhok and Erbil cities, in collaboration with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), indicates a significant military presence in strategic locations. This increases the fear of a creeping, permanent occupation of the region by Turkey, which will lead to a long-term regional war, with global consequences.

The recent Turkish military actions in Iraqi Kurdistan, including ground operations and establishment of checkpoints and military bases, have been closely monitored by US-based Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT). The operations have resulted in civilian displacement, destruction of agricultural lands, and damage to civilian infrastructure, including a school and a Christian monastery.

According to CPT, between January and July of 2024, Turkey has conducted 1076 attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan. Since the start of it’s new military campaign only 238 bombardments, primarily in the Duhok governorate.

CPT is deeply concerned about the escalation of Turkish military operations in Iraqi Kurdistan and the impact on civilians. The organization warns of potential mass displacement if the operations persist.

Intense clashes erupted between the guerrilla Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish Armed Forces (Türk Silahli Kuvvetleri -TSK) in the Amedi district of Duhok in KRI on Friday, as reported by independent Kurdish outlet Peregraf. Turkish forces conducted airstrikes on the village of Guherzê, resulting in significant damage to numerous houses and vehicles, according to Roj News.

Meanwhile, Vedant Patel, the US State Department Spokesperson, has indirectly signaled US approval for Turkey’s occupation of parts of the KRI.

Mucaşeh Tamimi, a political observer speaking to Roj News, pointed out Iraq’s defense vulnerability against Turkey’s assaults, highlighted Turkey’s influence on Iraq’s water supply causing drought, and discussed the economic impact of Turkish products in Iraq, undermining border control efforts.

A statement of the Kurdistan communities Union and a spokesperson for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan suggest that Turkey has enlisted fighters from Al Nusra and other jihadist groups to support its operations.

The Turkish military’s deployment in South Kurdistan continues, with recent shipments to Amadiya on Saturday night. Villagers in the region expressed distress over the ongoing attacks and criticized the lack of response from political parties and the government.

In conclusion, the Kurdistan National Congress urges the international community to address Turkey’s aggression against the Kurds and its disregard for international law and the sovereignty of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The lack of response from global media and institutions to Turkey’s military actions and human rights abuses is concerning. Immediate intervention is crucial from the Iraqi government, the US, the EU, the UN, and the Council of Europe to halt escalating violence.

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Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)


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