Iraqi MPs condemn Turkish military actions in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

BAGHDAD — In separate statements to Roj News, Fatah Alliance MP Mohammed Karim and Human Rights Commission member Ali Bayati condemned the criminal acts carried out by the Turkish occupation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

MP Karim pointed out that Turkey will not stop its systematic military operations in the KRI, explaining that it is using various criminal weapons in order to achieve its ultimate ambition of occupying Ottoman territories in Iraq and Syria. He also pointed out that the weak positions issued by the government of Baghdad and Erbil have done nothing to end the Turkish occupation.

Bayati said Turkey continues to violate international law in its incursion into the KRI and called on the Iraqi government to form a committee on the use of internationally banned weapons reportedly being used by Turkey in the villages of Nohadra (Duhok) Governate.

The Turkish Army, which has been conducting military operations in the Metina area and have announced plans to build a large military base there. Local sources have reported that Turkish forces were employing white phosphorus in its shelling of Tel Zendura.

Since the summer of 2020, Turkey has engaged in a cross-border military operation ostensibly targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) 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.

Human Rights Watch criticized Turkey for failing to take adequate measures to minimize civilian casualties after an air strike on 25 June injured six civilians and damaged a popular tourist town in Sulaymaniyah Province.

Thousands of civilians have been displaced across norther Iraq by the ongoing Turkish operations.

The PKK has accused Turkey of using prohibited chemical weapons in its recent military operations. It is not the first time such allegations have been made.

In 2010, German media outlet Spiegel reported that activists gave photos of the bodies of eight individuals believed to be PKK fighters covered in what appeared to be severe chemical burns to a German human rights delegation. Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries, confirmed the authenticity of the photos. A forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital said that it is highly probable that the eight individuals died “due to the use of chemical substances”.

Autopsies were reportedly conducted by Turkish authorities on the bodies but were never released.