On the day the 26th Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CSP-26) began in the Hague, Netherlands, the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) called upon the conference organisers and delegates to initiate an inquiry into allegations regarding Turkey’s chemical weapons use in Iraqi Kurdistan. The names and pictures of fighters reportedly killed by chemical weapons were released by an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Indicating that Turkey has used banned chemical weapons massively in Iraqi Kurdistan since 23 April 2021 in more than 300 attacks, the KNK statement said on Tuesday that international appeals made to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to investigate and prevent the use of banned weapons had not yet received any response.
“We once again invite the OPCW and all its member states to take seriously the reports from the affected areas in South Kurdistan, to immediately send an expert delegation to the affected Behdinan region there, to carry out on-site investigations, and thus to prevent Turkey`s use of chemical weapons in the region,” the Executive Council of the KNK stated.
PKK Executive Council member Murat Karayılan had said on Stêrk TV on 27 November that five types of chemical agents used by Turkey had been identified fully or partially. He listed four of the agents as tabun, or ‘nerve gas,’ chloropicrin, a lung damaging agent with suffocating effects, sulphur-mustard, and pepper spray. He also indicated a fifth which causes memory loss and paralysis.
The People’s Defence Forces (HPG), an armed wing of the PKK, released a video on Monday with the names and pictures of the Kurdish fighters who had been killed in Turkey’s chemical attacks in recent months in the Werxelê area in Avasin, near the Turkish border.
Werxelê had been one of the areas where clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters had intensified after Turkey’s military incursions began in April 2021.
The HPG stated that Cumali Çorum, Çavrê Kamuran, Adil Gabar, Hêvidar Tirbespiyê, Mahir Kop, Amara Cudi, Binevş Çiya, Dilvin Dalaho, Têkoşer Zagros and Yerivan Kato had been martyred in Turkey’s chemical attacks.