Demonstrators gathered on Tuesday by the United Nations offices in Iraq’s Kurdistan regional capital Erbil to protest against Operation Claw-Lock, a military operation launched by Turkey last week, reported Shafaq News Agency.
“We demand the Iraqi government and the international community exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw its troops,” said Kurda Salih, one of the organisers of the demonstration.
“Under the pretext of pursuing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters, Turkey has destroyed, evacuated, and exterminated entire Kurdish villages,” Salih said.
The demonstrators submitted an official letter of protest to the United Nations.
“No to Turkish invasion, no to war against Kurds,” read a sign held by a protestor.
Ali Hama Saleh, a member of the Kurdistan Parliament, said he joined the protest as an ordinary citizen rather than as an MP, because political parties “have disabled the parliament”.
There is no parliament left to speak of, Saleh said. “Despite Turkey’s offensive – in which Turkey has bad intentions – all three presidencies of Kurdistan, especially the parliament, which directly represents people, has kept silent. None of the political parties have condemned the offensive either,” he continued.
The United Nations has not commented on the offensive at the time of publication of this article. The United States has not commented either.