On the 17 April 2022, the Turkish state started a new comprehensive attack on the Kurdish people and their self-defense guerrilla forces (HPG) in South Kurdistan (North Iraq). The heavy air raids, artillery bombardments and ground attacks have so far focused on the South Kurdish regions of Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn.
Hundreds of war planes, armed drones and helicopters and thousands of Turkish soldiers are reported to be involved in the operation. Latest reports state that heavy air raids, artillery shelling and movement of Turkish ground troops continue in the area. Before the start of this ground attack, the affected regions had been attacked heavily by Turkish war planes and artilleries since April 14. Last year, the Turkish army had attacked these regions for months while resorting to the use of chemical weapons over 300 times. This resulted in emptying dozens of border villages, burning thousands of hectares of forest, and destroying thousands of trees. With this new operation they want to destroy and occupy more.
With this new all-out attack, the Turkish state seeks to occupy all of South Kurdistan and commit a genocide against the Kurdish people in the region. Therefore, this air and ground operation constitutes a serious threat to the regional and international stability. The Turkish fascist president Erdogan has given order for this attack, since he assumes that the attention of the international community is completely focused on the war in Ukraine. Thus, he wants to benefit from the current situation and carry out yet another attack against the Kurdish people. This occupation war once again shows that Erdogan is trying to manipulate the international community by claiming that he is working to achieve peace and stability in Ukraine. Yet, last night´s start of Turkey´s attacks on South Kurdistan makes it clear that Erdogan is only making these claims in order to allow his dictatorial regime to carry out attacks and occupations in Kurdistan. Unfortunately this manipulative policy by Erdogan seems to have gained a relative success to silence the US, UN and EU member states and the main stream media in order to continue on his military actions which destabilizes the region and the world.
The current operations are not just a war on the PKK but also a clear attack on civilians across the Kurdistan regions in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Erdogan`s main goal and ideological conviction is to destabilize the region, occupy Kurdistan and carry out a genocide against the Kurdish people. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that the new attack on South Kurdistan aims to occupy South Kurdistan as a whole – including the oil-rich regions of Mosul and Kirkuk, thus constituting a clear violation of all legal, moral and international norms.
After the IS dirty inhuman and genocidal attacks in the region which were/are a big threat against the world but now Erdogan is doing the same but with the help of NATO equipment’s. Only one day before Erdogan started his new occupation in South- Kurdistan, the Turkish army and its mercenaries attacked the Christians Easter in the villages on then Tel-Tamir front, including the Christian-Assyrian villages of the Khabur Valley in North-East Syria.
In a first statement last night, the Press Center of the HPG (People`s Defense Forces) published the following information about the new occupation operation: “The Turkish state has launched occupation attacks on the areas of Şikefta Birîndara, Kurojahro and Çiyayê Reş in the Zap region. These areas are being bombed massively, and attempts are being made to deploy soldiers in the area with the help of helicopters. The attack on the Zap region is not taking place from the north [i.e., Turkey] but from the south [i.e. KDP controlled areas]. The flights [of Turkish war planes and armed drones] are taking place from the Bamernê-Amêdî area via Şîladizê.
The new Turkish military operation comes just three days after KRG PM Masrour Barzani meeting with Turkey’s Erdogan. This clearly shows that the Turkish state is receiving active support from the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) for its occupation attacks on South Kurdistan.
OUR URGENT DEMANDS:
➢ The Iraqi government, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdish Parliament in Erbil need to urgently take a stance against these attacks and file a complaint against the Turkish state at the United Nations (UN). The Turkish state and its collaborators need to be condemned and punished for their occupation attacks.
➢ We call on all member states of the UN and the EU as well as on the USA to take a clear stance against the occupation of South Kurdistan and the renewed war started by the Turkish state. If this war is not stopped, it will only further destabilize the whole region.
➢ We especially call on the international public, human rights organizations, civil society organizations and the international media to raise their voice against this dirty war. Taking a stance against the Turkish government`s war of annihilation and genocide against the Kurdish people, the Freedom Guerrillas and Kurdistan`s nature means standing up against fascism.
➢ We call on all governments and international organisations, including the UN, the NATO, the EU, the Council of Europe and the Arab League, to take an urgent action against this violation of international law and to demand the Turkish army to withdraw its troops from South Kurdistan, and halt all arms exports to Turkey.
➢ We call on political parties, human rights organisations, organisations for peace, trade unionists and activists to oppose this Turkish aggression and occupation
➢ We must break the silence on Turkey’s invasion of South Kurdistan and take action!
FIRST REACTIONS TO TURKISH MILITARYAGGRESSION
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan:
Prior to launching Claw-Lock operation the Turkish air force bombed Shiladze, Deraluk and Kani Mase surrounding villages almost 50 times. Also, dozens of Turkish soldiers were deployed from helicopters to the mountain ranges in the Nerwa-Rekan area.
The Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK):
“While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to play the role of mediator in the Ukraine war and portray himself as a peacemaker, he has now launched a renewed, large-scale military offensive against South Kurdistan (northern Iraq), another unprovoked campaign by the Turkish Armed Forces to invade, depopulate, and occupy more of the area. Once again, the true face of Erdogan, that of an aggressor and occupier, can be seen in Kurdistan. A policy of denial and war against the Kurdish people is a central principle of the Turkish state and Erdogan’s leadership, and Erdogan’s transparent efforts to act as a mediator on the internal stage serve only to distract from the destructive role that Erdogan continues to play in Turkey, Kurdistan, and throughout the wider region”.
The Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress in Europe (KCDK-E)
“The Turkish state has launched an all-out occupation attack on the Medya Defense Zones. The guerrilla areas are attacked within the framework of the concept that became public before. The attacks are carried out from the air and on the ground.
We call our people in Europe, Canada and Australia to attention and immediate actions against the occupation attack. The bombing of the Medya Defense Zones is aimed at annihilation. Our people must take a stand against the occupiers and treacherous collaborators and stand behind their freedom fighters. For this reason, in the spirit of mobilization, we call for action everywhere today and tomorrow.”
People’s Defense Forces (HPG):
“It is reported that the Turkish army has suffered heavy losses in its ongoing invasion operation in the Zap region of the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), launched on April 17.
Reliable sources told the journalists in the region that at least 44 Turkish soldiers, 6 of whom were high-ranking officers including one major, were killed in the Zap region.
It is reported that the Turkish major belonged to the Tatvan Bitlis Commando Force and died after being seriously injured in a sabotage action carried out by the guerrilla forces.
32 other Turkish soldiers are reported to have been injured following the guerrilla actions in the Zap region. The Turkish state has so far confirmed that only a lieutenant, a member of Turkish Special Forces was killed, and 4 soldiers were injured during its cross-border military campaign.
HPG Press Centre, on the other hand, reported that many Turkish soldiers had been killed” https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/at-least-44-turkish-soldiers-were-killed-in-zap-reports-59412
Iraqi President Barham Salih:
“We closely follow the attacks launched by the Turkish state,” he said, adding that “these attacks clearly threaten our national security. These ongoing attacks were carried out in spite of us. We have previously called for these attacks to be stopped. Our Iraqi foreign policy and state decisions absolutely reject the attacks of the Turkish state. We will not accept this in any way” https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/iraqi-president-barham-salih- turkish-state-s-attacks-are-clear-threat-to-national-security-59410
Leader of the Sadr movement Muqtada Al Sadr:
Muqtada Al Sadr, the leader of the Sadr movement said he condemns and considers the Turkish state’s attacks on the Kurdistan Region a violation of Iraq’s sovereign rights. Sadr underlined that if the attacks continue, they will not remain silent, and urged the Turkish state to solve the problems through dialogue. Sadr also said that they are ready to contribute to the solution of problems through dialogue and democratic methods. https://anfenglishmobile.com/news/muqtada-al-sadr-says-turkish-attacks-a-violation-of-iraqi- sovereignity-59407
PUK group chair Herem Kemal Axa
Iraqi Parliament Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK) Group chairman Herem Kemal Axa said that the attacks violated Iraq’s sovereignty. “Turkey’s operations against the territory of the Kurdistan Region, allegedly to fight the PKK, are a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and airspace. This attack is also against international principles and the neighbourly relations between Iraq and Turkey. The operations and attacks showed that Turkey’s internal problems cannot be solved with weapons. This actually deepened the problems. The Kurdish problem in Turkey cannot be resolved by military operations and by violating the sovereignty of other countries.” https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/puk-group-chair-axa-says-turkish-state-s-invasion-attacks- violate-sovereignty-of-iraq-59401
Shiite leader Ammar Al-Hakim
Shiite leader Ammar Al-Hakim, one of the most influential clerics in Iraq and the Shiite world, condemned the recent attacks of the Turkish state, defining them as “unacceptable”.
“The aerial attack of the Turkish army against Iraqi Kurdistan is unacceptable. At a time when we urge the Iraqi government to protect the borders and to prevent any country from using Iraqi territory for its attacks, these countries have to respect Iraq’s sovereignty,” Al-Hakim wrote on his Twitter account. https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/turkish-offensive-met-with-reactions-in-iraq-and-south- kurdistan-59415
The former Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi
“Turkey’s continuous violation of Iraqi sovereignty is a serious matter and worsens bilateral relations. We are surprised by the suspicious silence about these abuses, which raises concerns over the responsibility of the state and political forces to protect the country and its sovereignty. We recommend Turkey to reconsider its policies concerning Iraq.” al-Abadi wrote. https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/turkish-offensive-met-with- reactions-in-iraq-and-south-kurdistan-59415
The former President of the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament, Dr. Yusuf Mihemed
“The Turkish attacks are not new; their aim is to reach and take control of Mosul province, which was once under Ottoman rule. They want to
cede the region to Turkey. They believe that they can get rid of the Treaty of Lausanne after a hundred years. Their goals are long-term. Under the current circumstances, Turkey thinks that it can legitimate its own invasion if the Russian invasion of Ukraine is successful.” https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/turkish-offensive-met-with-reactions-in-iraq-and-south- kurdistan-59415
Ebdulstar Mecid, head of the Komaleya Dadgeri Faction
“If the Kurdistan Region government does not allow it, the Turkish state cannot cross the border in any way. If the government does not give permission, Turkey cannot arrest the citizens, bomb and kill them,” Mecid said https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/turkish-offensive-met- with-reactions-in-iraq-and-south-kurdistan-59415