Turkish air raid in Kurdistan Region ‘levels’ houses, injures 3 civilians
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish fighter jets on Monday morning struck a village near the base of the Kurdistan Region’s Qandil Mountains, with Ankara saying they had “neutralized” five alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters as locals reported three civilian casualties.
The bombardment targeted Bole Village, located in the Sangasar subdistrict of Sulaimani Province. Due to the attack “the houses of a number of civilians, farms…were levelled,” Yusef Nawdashti, a civilian from the village told Kurdistan 24 following the incident.
A local source told Kurdistan 24 that three civilians had been injured, among them a senior. Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu also reported that Turkish warplanes had targeted Qandil Mountains without mentioning civilian casualties nor damages to local residents’ properties.
It did however report that five alleged PKK fighters had been “neutralized,” a term used by Ankara to indicate that an individual has been killed, incapacitated, or captured.
The PKK’s headquarters is located on the Qandil mountain range and is frequently targeted by Turkey’s fighter planes. It was not immediately clear, however, if there was a PKK base or operatives near the village of Bole.
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