ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish jets struck alleged positions of militias allied with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in the disputed Sinjar (Shingal) district in northwestern Iraq, local sources said on Monday.
The airstrikes hit a base of the Yezidi (Ezidi) Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in the Khana Sor region of the Sinune subdistrict of Shingal, about 8 kilometers from the Syrian border to the north, a security source told Kurdistan 24.
A medical source claimed the shelling injured two YBS members, which was later confirmed by local security forces. The YBS are members of the Ezidi ethnoreligious minority group, whom the so-called Islamic State targeted in a genocidal campaign after the terrorist organization’s rise to prominence in 2014.
Sinune Mayor Khodeida Chooke, also known as Abu Ammar, told Kurdistan 24 that the bombardments had led to significant material damage to civilians in the area. After the incident, locals fled and relocated to a close-by safer region.
Turkey often carries out airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region’s border against alleged PKK positions. It has also previously targeted the Shingal region on at least two separate occasions.
These attacks, however, often cause injuries and deaths to residents unaffiliated with the group and have forced villagers to flee their areas.
The PKK has led a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state over Kurdish rights and autonomy. Ankara considers the PKK as well as its affiliates terrorist organizations.
Turkey and its Syrian militant proxies are currently leading an incursion into parts of northeastern Syria, where the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), also a PKK affiliate, are based.
The YPG lead the ethnically diverse Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who were the main ground troops that ended the territorial claims of the Islamic State in Syria in March 2019.
Editing by Nadia Riva