A new report by the Guardian reveals that drones belonging to Turkey have been killing Kurdish civilians in Iraq.
Turkey’s drone war against the PKK has brought death and disruption to people living in the mountainous Amedi district, according to Bethan McKernan’s report for the Guardian.
The report describes how the bodies of three former Peshmerga soldiers were found in the Zeri valley, torn to pieces by what is believed to have been a Turkish drone strike.
In the same week, five Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) combatants were “neutralised” in Iraq, according to the Turkish Defence Ministry, but the requests for more information about the strike that killed the civilians went unanswered.
“The conflict is now claiming more Iraqi civilian lives than at any point since a ceasefire broke down in 2015, according to data from the monitoring group Airwars,” writes McKernan, highlighting the civilian casualties in Iraq.
The report also underlined that “Ankara has begun to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy in Libya and Somalia” in parallel to its increasing power in drone technology.
Turkish aerial operations targeting the PKK are killing more than ever, according to the Guardian, yet “there is no accountability for strikes that injure and kill civilians.”
According to Airwars, the Gare operation caused a “sharp rise in reported civilian harm”.
“Between 27 and 33 Iraqi civilians were killed and 23 were injured, amounting to more than double the number of civilians killed in 2019,” said Mohammed al-Jumaily, Airwar’s Iraq researcher, to the Guardian.
“Every year our movements get more restricted. We are losing our freedom, but I am scared to let the children go out and play. I expect us to be targeted at any moment now,” said Tamar Ameen Tamar, 66, who lost his daughter and his mother as a result of the fighting in 1997. His son was killed in a Turkish strike in 2017.