Political parties in North and East Syria condemn Turkish airstrikes on vulnerable communities in Iraq

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA – Late on Sunday, northern Iraq was shaken by a wave of Turkish airstrikes on Şingal Mountain, Şingal City, Makhmour Refugee Camp, and other locations.

A group of political parties in North and East Syria, including the Syriac Union Party (SUP), issued a condemned Turkey’s “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty”.

Writing in The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Seth Frantzman questioned the motivations for the Turkish air campaign:

“Turkey launched waves of airstrikes against what it claimed were Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) elements in northern Iraq on Sunday. The airstrikes shook Mount Sinjar, an area that is home to the Yazidi minority and where [the Islamic State] carried out genocide against Yazidis in 2014.

The area has been unable to recover because of the constant threat of Turkish airstrikes and the presence of armed groups, militias and checkpoints. The PKK and its affiliates fought ISIS near Sinjar in 2014. Although Turkey labels the PKK a ‘terrorist organization,’ PKK affiliates in Sinjar never carried out any attacks on Turkey.

Why Turkey carried out the massive airstrikes on Sunday evening was not clear. There have been no recent attacks on Turkey, and Ankara has never presented any evidence that groups in Sinjar, consisting primarily of the poorest Iraqis and minorities living in a landscape of villages destroyed by ISIS, constitute a threat.”

In a public statement released by the group of political parties in North and East Syria, they pointed out that the attacks come “in conjunction with the memory of the brutal massacres of Ottomans against the Syriac-Assyrian-Chaldean (CSA) people in 1915.”

“This military operation carried out by Turkish forces confirms the Turkish regime’s systematic policy of targeting the aspirations and rights of the peoples of region and its attempt to implement its expansionist plans by spreading extremist Islamic ideologies.”