ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) called on Turkey and Kurdish insurgents not to cause harm to the people of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, according to the government’s spokesperson on Monday.
The statement came hours after Turkish airstrikes struck villages near the Kurdistan Region’s Qandil Mountains, injuring three local civilians.
“Unfortunately, several citizens were injured and were subject to financial damages as a result of the bombardments by Turkey’s warplanes on Qandil Mountain. The Kurdistan Regional Government extends its sympathy to the victims in those areas, and is concerned about these events,” read a statement issued by the spokesperson for the KRG, Jotiar Adil.
“We also demand [Turkey] protect the safety of the Kurdistan Region’s citizens, who should not be the target of the shelling,” he added.
Adil also called on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to consider the situation of people and the Kurdistan Region’s position, and avoid causing any more harm to the people of the Kurdistan Region.
Turkish forces in their last statement on Monday stated they had “neutralized” five alleged PKK fighters, a term used by Ankara to indicate that an individual has been killed, incapacitated, or captured.
Turkey’s latest raids come as part of the country’s so-called Operation Claw, which began in late May. The campaign has entered its second phase, Turkish authorities announced earlier. The PKK is engaged in a decades-long insurgency against Turkey over Kurdish rights and self-rule in a conflict that has resulted in the death of over 40,000 people on both sides.
In the past year, Turkey has carried out military operations against PKK fighters based in the Kurdistan Region with continued regularity. Turkish forces have crossed into the region up to 20 kilometers deep in some areas to target the guerilla group.
During the bombings, Ankara has killed dozens of civilians unaffiliated to the PKK since then and has caused extensive damage to farms and killed locals’ livestock. Residents of such areas have long called on the Turkish military and the PKK to take their fighting elsewhere.
Editing by Nadia Riva