ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish shelling in an area along the Turkey-Kurdistan Region border on Saturday resulted in the death of a young Kurdish woman.
The shelling occurred near the village of Helena in the Sherwan region on the border area between Kurdistan and Turkey.
Nineteen-year-old Donia Naji, who was working with family members in a field, was killed after being hit by a mortar shell fired by Turkish troops, Kurdistan 24 correspondent Tayfur Mohammed reported.
“At 3:30 p.m., as a result of the continued Turkish shelling of the area, my daughter was killed while she was in the fields,” Naji’s father Rashid told Kurdistan 24.
Turkey has recently stepped up its air campaign on the Qandil Mountains of the northern Kurdistan Region where the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has military bases.
“The Turkish planes are present in our areas often. We don’t know why Turkey bombed this area; there is no PKK presence. There is a large civilian population,” the victim’s father added.
The PKK has been locked in a decades-long fight with the Turkish government over broader Kurdish rights.
Tensions increased following the collapse of a two-year ceasefire between the rebel group and Ankara in 2015.
Turkey’s military has crossed up to 20 kilometers deep in some areas of the Kurdistan Region to target the PKK, and bombardment from Turkish jets occasionally result in the death of civilians unaffiliated with the Kurdish rebels.
Ankara, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and NATO, consider the PKK a “terrorist” group.
The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has resulted in over 40,000 casualties on both sides as well as the destruction of villages and infrastructure.