Church damaged in Turkish air strike on Karyat Moska (Miska) village in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

NOHADRA, Iraq / ZALIN, Syria — Turkish forces bombed a Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian village of Karyat Moska (Miska) in Nohadra (Duhok) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq early Tuesday morning damaging several buildings including the St. Joseph’s church.

“It was around 2:40 am when the rockets hit near the village,” Dawoud Yukhanna, a villager from Karyat Moska, told Rudaw. “As you can see, it is only 100 meters away.”

“People were terrified,” he added. “They could not sleep all night after hearing the loud sound of the bombs.”

Karyat Moska is located north of Amadiya and lies some 15 kilometers away from Kesta and Chalik, both recently abandoned due to Turkish airstrikes. Only eight families have returned to live in Miska.

Commissioner of the United States Committee International Religious Freedom Nadine Maenza stated that, “We are dismayed that a Turkish airstrike earlier today damaged a church in Duhok, Iraq.”

“The Turkish government must cease immediately and take all necessary precautions to avoid civilians and destroying houses of worship.”

Since last summer, Turkey has engaged in a cross-border military operation ostensibly targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partîya Karkerên Kurdistanê, 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.

Political Parties in North and East Syria

During a meeting of political parties in North and East Syria, including the Syriac Union Party (SUP), at the Center for Consulting and Diplomatic Studies in Zalin (Qamishli), discussions focused on the Turkish attacks on the regions and villages of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the villages along the Turkish–Iraqi border, Co-Chair of Gozarto (Jazira) Canton Afram Ishaq told SuroyoTV.

The participating parties issued a statement at the conclusion of the meeting  in which they condemned Turkey’s attacks on the border areas that have caused the displacement of thousands of Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians and Kurdish families from their villages in clear violation of international and humanitarian law.

The parties also denounced the international silence about the crimes of the Turkish state and demanded more be done to end the aggressions of the Turkey towards its neighbors. They also called on the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to clearly condemn the Turkish violation of Iraqi sovereignty.