Turkish airstrikes kill four civilians in Kurdistan Region: residents, activists

Early morning Turkish airstrikes killed four civilians camping in rural areas as part of Newroz celebrations in the Choman district of the Kurdistan Region.
author_image John J. Catherine

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – According to residents and local activists, overnight Turkish airstrikes killed four civilians camping in rural areas as part of Newroz celebrations in the Choman district of the Kurdistan Region, 160 kilometers northeast of Erbil.

Residents told Kurdistan 24 Turkish that the bombardment occurred in the rural area known as Dali Baliani, killing four young men spending the night outside after celebrating Newroz, the Kurdish New Year.

The identities of the four have not yet been made public. Photographs of young males which are being circulated on social media by local activists could not be independently verified.

Turkish bombardment of the vast border areas of Turkey, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region, as well as into the Region along the Qandil Mountain range, have become commonplace since the peace process between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) broke down in July 2015.

Armed conflict between Turkey and the PKK often damages the property of farmers and residents in areas along the borders.

Unconfirmed photos circulated by local activists showing victims of Turkish airstrikes in Choman, Kurdistan Region, March 22, 2018. (Photo: Social media)
Unconfirmed photos circulated by local activists showing victims of Turkish airstrikes in Choman, Kurdistan Region, March 22, 2018. (Photo: Social media)

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Wednesday said his country would not allow the presence of Turkish troops on Iraqi soil, contrary to previous statements by officials from both countries which alluded to a future joint Iraqi-Turkish campaign against the PKK.

Turkey has regularly launched attacks on PKK positions in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq, where the group is headquartered.

The PKK took up arms against Ankara in the 1980s to demand more rights for the Kurds in a conflict that has killed thousands of people on both sides.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany