VIDEO: Turkish warplanes strike Sharbazher area in Sulaimani province
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Friday, Turkish warplanes struck what Ankara claimed were sites of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region. The two Turkish attacks took place in the Sharbazher area in Sulaimani province and caused fires in the area, a local official said.
The airstrikes targeted “Balosa mountain near the village of Qameesh” in the Mawat district of Sharbazher area, Kamaran Hassan, the mayor of Mawat district, told Kurdistan 24.
“The airstrikes were conducted on Friday afternoon,” Hassan explained. They “did not cause any civilian causalities,” but they set a large swathe of the area ablaze.
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Friday that its air force had “neutralized” seven PKK militants in the Asos area.
The airstrikes were conducted, “as a result of coordination between the Turkish Armed Forces and National Intelligence Service,” the ministry said in a tweet.
The term "neutralize" is commonly used by Turkish officials to refer to enemy fighters killed, captured, or otherwise incapacitated.
The Turkish airstrikes come as part of its newly launched military operations against its long-time foe, the PKK, which Turkish authorities have designated as “Claw-Tiger” and “Claw-Eagle.”
Authorities in the Kurdistan Region have repeatedly complained that hundreds of residents in the villages bordering Turkey and Iran have been displaced, as a result of military operations launched by those two countries. Their military activities across the border often result in civilian casualties and property damage.
Last month, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed its concerns about Turkish airstrikes that resulted in civilian causalities in Sulaimani province’s Kuna Masi resort.
On June 25, a Turkish airstrike targeted the Kuna Masi resort in Sulaimani province’s Sharbajer area. The mountainous area is a popular tourist attraction, visited by many people during the hot summer.
Editing by Laurie Mylroie