ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish villagers from the Qandil Mountains, a remote area used as headquarters by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), called on the Kurdistan Region Parliament to take action against the recent uptick in the Turkish government’s bombardments in the northern region.
As a result of Turkey’s latest attacks on alleged PKK targets on the Qandil Mountains, “members of [nearby] communities have been killed, and we had to desert some of our villages,” Mohammed Hassan, a representative for the villagers visiting parliament in Erbil, told Kurdistan 24.
A delegation of residents from the affected villages, during a visit to parliament, called on Kurdish lawmakers to be diligent in their efforts to confront the Turkish government and their actions.
“The PKK’s presence in the area is illegal, and they’ve caused many headaches for the people of the region,” Farhan Jawhar, a lawmaker of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) bloc in the Kurdistan Region Parliament, told Kurdistan 24.
“We hope the PKK takes our concerns [to clear the area] into consideration,” as “innocent bystanders have been the victims” of Turkey’s aerial campaign against the outlawed group.
In recent months, Turkish forces have stepped up military action against PKK fighters within the Kurdistan Region, including building outposts and military access roads.
In some areas, Turkey has crossed the border up to 20 kilometers deep to target the Kurdish guerilla fighters, and bombardments from Turkish jets occasionally result in the death of civilians unaffiliated to the PKK as Hassan stated.
On June 30, Turkish shelling in a populated area along the Turkey-Kurdistan Region border resulted in the death of a 19-year-old Kurdish woman.
Multiple fires were started in rural mountainous regions of the Kurdistan Region on Friday after being shelled by the Turkish military.
“28 persons have been killed in the past few years, due to Turkey and Iran’s shelling of our villages,” Hassan said, pointing out that Iran had also previously attacked the areas.
Editing by Nadia Riva