Widespread dissatisfaction in Kurdistan Region of Iraq of Turkish military operations

NOHADRA, Iraq — Dissatisfaction with the Turkish military operations in northern Iraq is spreading throughout the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Civilians living along the Turkish–Iraqi border have been subjected to Turkish artillery and air strikes since the campaign began. Dozens have been injured or killed and thousands have been forced to abandon their homes.

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.

“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.

Critics of Ankara’s military operations in Iraq have pointed out that they are a clear and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Iraq and have called on the United Nations, international community, and Baghdad to put an end to Turkish violations.

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.