Ano Jawhar Abdoka: Military operations in Zakho causing Christian displacement

ANKAWA, Iraq – In a statement yesterday, the president of the Alliance of National Unity (UNI), Ano Jawhar Abdoka, called on Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to solve their problems away from peaceful Christian villages and towns in northern Iraq. The recent military operations in the province have terrorized citizens, particularly in the border town of Zakho, which includes dozens of Christian villages, many of whom had fled to the center of the cities of Zakho and Duhok.

The fighting between the PKK and Turkey in northern Iraq has caused great fears and triggered a new wave of displacement, Abdoka said.

The conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state has raged, in degrees of ferocity, since the 1980s.

Abdoka also called for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to be spared in this conflict and called on the PKK to move away from peaceful and safe villages in the region inhabited by Syriac, Chaldean, and Assyrian people.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Abdoka stressed the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people’s adherence to their national identity, saying that, “Christians have suffered for more than two decades and from 2003 to this day. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians who have left Iraq and migrated out of the country, today in one way or another if the situation in the region is unstable, where will Christians go? Today our last stop in Mesopotamia is the Kurdistan region.”

Minister Abdoka called on the international community, United Nations, and the permanent members of U.N. Security Council to put an end to the conflict in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and to keep the conflict between the PKK and Turkey away from the territory of peaceful villages in northern Iraq.