IRAQ: European Syriac Union demands Turkey immediately stops inflicting more damage after displacing residents of 30 Chaldean-Syrian-Assyrian villages

BRUSSELS — The European Syriac Union (ESU) issued a press statement today regarding Turkey’s ongoing illegal military operation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Turkey’s “Operation Eagle Claw”, which started on 16 June, has displaced Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians from over 30 villages in the Iraqi-Turkish border area. The villages are exclusively or majority Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian in demographic. The press statement calls for urgent action by Iraqi authorities and world leaders to stop Turkey from further inflicting harm on the already vulnerable Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq.

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On the 16th of June, the Turkish state started a new military operation in the northern Iraq, KRG against Kurdish forces of PKK in a region inhabited by the indigenous Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people scattered in a various villages and towns. Entitled as “Operation Claw-Eagle” Turkish military forces with ground and aerial forces started their operation in the night of June 16 and targeting several locations in the region causing fear, displacement and killing of civilians in the area.

More than a decade now, Turkish state under the leadership of islamist of Justice and Development Party, AKP and it’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continue to occupy and conquer new zones in the neighbouring countries namely Syria and Iraq and enlarge its sphere of influence by causing demographic change and islamic way of life. As conflict ravaged Syria, Turkey opened new front in Afrin and later on the northern part of Syria causing mass displacement of native people, killing of civilians, women and children. During this period, several Syriac Christian villages have been emptied causing another exodus.

Since the operation of “Claw-Eagle” in the northern Iraq region more than 30 Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian villages have been emptied due to the ongoing operations in the area. People of villages now left to Dohuk, Zakho and other places for safety. This will lead to another mass displacement of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian as it happened in Nineveh Plains, in Khabour region in Syria with irreversible consequences. To note, majority of inhabitants in the region are the survivors of 1915 Sayfo genocide and 1924 Hakkari killings.

Based on this, European Syriac Union, ESU call on Iraqi central and regional authorities to take serious and urgent actions to stop further operations and interference of Turkey in the region and protecting local inhabitants from the danger and maintain them security and peace. At this moment, also UN, EU, US and other regional forces should create a momentum for the long term solutions for the people and native inhabitants and ethnic and religious minorities in the region.

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