Group confirms death of PKK Commander in Turkish airstrikes on Shingal
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A senior commander with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) has been killed by a Turkish airstrike in northern Iraq’s Sinjar [Shingal] District, the Yezidi (Ezidi) Society Coordination (YSC) confirmed on Thursday.
On Wednesday, sources told Kurdistan 24 that Turkish warplanes were bombarding west of Baraa village located near the Syrian border in the Ezidi-populated Shingal District.
Shortly after, Turkish media outlets claimed a commander by the name of Ismail Ozden, also known as Mam Zeki Shingali, had been killed in the airstrikes
“On August 15, 2018, our Shingal Ezidi Society Coordination Member, Ismail Ozden, was martyred during the invaders’ airstrike at 16:00 as he was returning from a memorial service held for victims of the Kocho massacre,” read the statement by YSC.
Shortly after the strikes, Pari Ibrahim, Founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, told Kurdistan 24, “It is also worth noting that this outrageous action was carried out on Aug. 15, one of the darkest days in our recent history, the anniversary of when the Islamic State [IS] conducted its genocidal cleansing of the village of Kocho.”
During IS’ violent takeover of northern Iraq in 2014, the jihadist group killed over 800 people in Kocho, best known as the hometown of UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking and IS survivor, Nadia Murad.
Zeki Shingali was born in 1952 in the Kurdish-Turkish city of Batman and was a member of the PKK. He eventually joined the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) and YSC after the fall of Shingal, which was eventually liberated by the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Forces and the US-led coalition in 2015.
Editing by Nadia Riva