ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish airstrikes on Saturday morning targeted the Sharansh village in the Kurdistan Region’s Zakho, causing considerable material damage to the houses and cars of villagers, with no human casualties.
Over the past decade, Turkey has repeatedly struck the borders of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, namely in the province of Duhok. Ankara claims it targets the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, a Kurdish group that Turkey and the US have designated a “terrorist organization.”
“It was around 05:00 in the morning when I saw the house shook. I got up and wanted to check on my son’s house. The mother of my children cautioned me not to go out,” an elderly man from Sharansh village told Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast interview.
“I went to check my son’s house. I thought they were all dead but, thank God, they are all alive.”
The Turkish shelling had previously targeted the surrounding areas near the village, but this is the first time it hits Sharansh, the man added.
“Even if the PKK fighters exist in the area, we’ve never seen them in our village.”
Barozh, whose house has been damaged, stated that he was sleeping, with his wife and five children, when the airstrike struck the house yard. His eldest child is 10 years old.
Barozh’s face was also injured by pieces of glass as the airstrike shattered the windows.
“Whoever sees this room, and house in general, would think nobody survived,” he told Kurdistan 24. “But thank God, all of us survived.”
The Turkish bombardment was meant to target PKK fighters in the region, a group that has been fighting a decades-long insurgency with Ankara over Kurdish rights and self-rule.
The PKK is thought to have fighters near hundreds of villages within the Kurdistan Region, mainly in the mountainous areas near the Turkish border.
Hundreds of villages along the Turkish-Kurdistan border have been evacuated due to the ongoing violence.
Over the past years, the KRG has repeatedly called on the PKK to stop using the region as a launchpad for its attacks.
As part of the conflict, the Turkish army has crossed its southern border several times in the past year, in some places, up 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep into the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Islam Yusuf)