Turkish raids on Iraqi villages. Chaldean Patriarch Sako: “What does Erdogan want?”

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Agenzia Fides) – Between Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June Turkish planes bombed the area near Zakho, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan on the border with Turkey, historically characterized by the strong roots of Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian Christian communities. The declared goal of the Turkish raids is to hit Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in Iraqi territory.

Zakho, currently inhabited by less than 200 thousand inhabitants, mostly Kurdish and Chaldean Christians, rises around the banks of the Little Khabur (left tributary of the Tigris), and is the birthplace of current Chaldean Patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako. “The situation” reports the Patriarch, “is tense and confusing. There is talk of at least 5 civilian deaths and also of many displaced people. It is not known what Erdogan wants. And the Iraqi government certainly does not even have the opportunity to face a possible war with Turkey. We find ourselves having to face ever more serious problems, one after the other, in a spiral that takes your breath away and crushes all the people under the weight of fatigue and worry”.

In the Zakho area, considered strategic, in the nineties and in the following decade, military bases were installed both in the United States and Turkey.

Air raids in areas of the Iraqi governorate of Dahuk, similar to those carried out in the past by the Turkish military aviation, have resumed since mid-June and have currently provoked only a harsh verbal reaction from the Iraqi foreign ministry, which in a note branded them as violations of international norms relating to territorial sovereignty. The Turkish raids on Iraqi territory, together with the recent military campaigns carried out by Ankara on the Syrian and Libyan scenarios, confirm the exponential growth of Turkey’s geopolitical-military activism, which has become a significant factor in recent years to decipher the convulsions and conflicts that continue to stir the entire Middle Eastern region. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/6/2020)

Originally published by Agenzia Fides. Here