NOHADRA, Iraq — Turkish air strikes again targeted tourist areas in Amadiyah District in Nohadra (Duhok) Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Turkish airstrikes have caused widespread destruction, agricultural and forest fires, and civilian displacement.
At the end of May this year, Turkish forces bombed the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian village of Karyat Moska (Miska) in Nohadra, damaging several buildings including the St. Joseph’s church.
The Turkish Army 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 northern 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.