NOHADRA, Iraq — Turkey renewed its campaign of drone and air strikes in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), bombing several villages in Amadeh district of Nohadra (Duhok) Province in the KRI. The Turkish strikes resulted in mass displacement amid intense smoke, according to eyewitnesses from the region.
Former member of Iraqi Parliament Joseph Sliwa declared in a statement, “The villages of the Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians and Kurds in Nahla and Jabal Kara were subjected to Turkish bombing.”
“Whoever thinks that Turkey attacks the Kurdistan region only because of the presence of the [Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] is deluded,” Kurdish politician Dr. Mahmoud Othman declared in a statement.
Since mid-June, Turkey has engaged in a cross-border military operation ostensibly targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which has been in armed conflict with the Turkish state since the 1980s. However, Turkish drone and air strikes have repeatedly targeted areas without a PKK presence, according to locals.
The repeated Turkish shelling have emptied a number of Christian villages along the Iraqi–Turkish border.
Human Rights Watch has criticized Turkey for the carelessness of its military operation which has killed over a dozen civilians and displaced thousands more, many of whom are Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian Christians and Yezidis.
A recent report stated that there are 102,000 Christians living there in Nineveh Plains in 2014, but their numbers have dwindled to 36,000 and could drop further by 2024 if stability and security is not established.