Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture and Kurdistan Regional Government condemn Turkey for illegally cutting down trees in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

BADINAN, Iraq — The Iraqi Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture issued a joint statement condemning Turkey’s cutting down a large number of trees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and transporting them into Turkey for sale.

The joint statement demanded an end to the cutting down trees in the border areas and decried the acts as hostile against nature and Iraqi sovereignty.

It also appealed to the United Nations and international organizations to find solutions to Turkey’s irresponsible and inhuman acts against the environment.

The Turkish Army, which has been conducting military operations in the Metina area and have announced plans to build a large military base there.

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.