Report: 180 civilians killed, wounded in past five years by Turkish bombing of Kurdistan Region

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) on Thursday stated that over 180 civilians were killed and wounded in the Kurdistan Region due to Turkish bombing over the past five years.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) on Thursday stated that over 180 civilians were killed and wounded in the Kurdistan Region due to Turkish bombing over the past five years.

The committee said in a report that from August 2015 until now, 85 civilians were killed in the border areas of the Kurdistan Region because of Turkey’s bombings by warplanes, on-ground operations, and artillery strikes.

The report pointed out that 15 civilians were killed and 95 injured during the first half of 2020.

It also mentioned the evacuation of hundreds of villages in the border areas of the region due to the Turkish bombing, stressing that the lives and property of the people are now vulnerable.

CPT is a specialized independent monitoring body of the Council of Europe. It consists of independent, impartial experts such as lawyers, medical doctors, and specialists of prison or police matters.

Turkey has intensified its bombing of the border areas in the Kurdistan Region, as well as launched ground incursions since mid-June as part of its operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), leaving human and material losses.

The Kurdistan Region has condemned the Turkish strikes, which have led to the death of civilians, and called on the PKK and Turkey to take their fight elsewhere.

Baghdad also condemned the Turkish attacks, summoned the Turkish ambassador twice, and delivered two strongly worded protest notes. The federal government also deployed border guards at several points in Dohuk province, on the Turkish border.

The PKK is headquartered in the Qandil Mountain range and has bases strewn across the Kurdistan Region’s border areas to the north and east. Turkey—as well as the United States and NATO—considers the armed group a “terrorist” organization and has in recent years upped its efforts against it and its perceived affiliates, both domestically and regionally.

In recent years, Turkey has carried out military operations against alleged PKK positions based in the Kurdistan Region with continued regularity, with troops sometimes crossing into the region up to 20 kilometres deep in some areas to target the guerilla group.

Ankara has killed dozens of civilians unaffiliated with the PKK during its bombings 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 Karzan Sulaivany