Unidentified warplanes bomb Kurdistan Region mountain

This is the first time in years that the area in Sulaimani Province is bombed by warplanes, suspected either to be Turkish or Iranian.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Unidentified jets on Friday evening conducted airstrikes on the Asos mountain near the border with Iran where the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has a presence in the Sulaimani Province, a local mayor said.

Kamaran Hasan, the mayor of the town of Mawat, said warplanes targeted three locations within just a three-kilometer periphery of the village of Galala, stating there were no human casualties.

This is the first time in years the area is bombed by warplanes, suspected either to be Turkish or Iranian.

A similar bombing happened on Sunday morning, a source said.

The head of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) local branch in the Sharbajer district of Sulaimani, Awat Kunjrini, believed the warplanes were Turkish.

“All we know is a tractor and construction vehicle has been destroyed,” Kunjrini told Kurdistan 24.

“There are no PKK casualties,” he said, adding the guerrilla force the group stationed there was small.

There was no information regarding the attacks in Mawat from official Turkish sources.

Earlier this weekend, the Turkish army’s general staff revealed that its air force bombed PKK camps, shelters, arms depots, and fighting positions in 36 locations in the Qandil Mountains, Haftanin, Gare, Avashin, Zab, and Khakurk areas.

The PKK-affiliated Firat News Agency confirmed the bombings, adding they were near civilian population areas.

The latest Turkish air assaults follow Friday’s deadly clashes in the Kurdish region of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vow to intensify the war on the PKK and its affiliates at home and abroad.

PKK guerrillas killed six soldiers and two government-paid Kurdish paramilitaries in a raid in the border district of Semdinli in Hakkari Province.

Qandil Mountains and other areas straddling along Iraq’s border with Turkey and Iran often come under daily Turkish fire both from the air and ground.

Turkey has been staging an air campaign on PKK targets since mid-2015 when a two-year-held peace talks and ceasefire between the sides collapsed.

In the past two years, similar airstrikes have displaced people from scores of villages.

Two airstrikes in late September killed seven civilians in the Sheladiz district of Dohuk Province.

An attack in August 2015 killed eight civilians, including a pregnant woman, in the Zargeli village of Erbil where Turkey claimed there was a PKK camp.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany