A committee set up by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) called on urgent action to be taken against recent Turkish and Iranian attacks on the region to prevent further displacement of people.
The committee visited the Balakayaty and Bradost areas in the northeast of the regional capital Erbil, which Turkey and Iran have continuously bombarded, Roj News reported.
Responsible of investigating the damages of the recent attacks, the committee in its reports warned that more people could find themselves displaced if urgent action is not taken. Some 500 families reportedly evacuated their villages and two schools were closed due to Turkish and Iranian aggression.
The bombardments also caused severe damage to homes, livestock, farms and other private properties in the region, according to Osman Sederi, a Kurdish lawmaker, who spoke to Roj News.
Sederi told Roj News that the committee asked for an exclusive session in the Kurdish Parliament to discuss the issue and advised compensation to be paid to villagers who were displaced.
“Turkey and Iran are shelling from Zakho district of Duhok province to Penjwen district of Sulaymaniyah province, which caused the mass displacement of the residents of those areas and instability, this is another way of occupation. I call on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and political factions to put away their tensions and stand against these invaders,” Sederi added.
Iran for years has launched attacks with heavy weapons and drones on Kurdish political groups in exile in northern Iraq, which it calls “terrorists”. Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps ramped up shelling such targets in September, after mass protests started in the country following the death of a 22-year-old girl who was arrested for not complying to Islamist regime’s hijab law. At least nine people were killed and 32 others were wounded due to recent Iranian attacks according to local sources.
Meanwhile, Turkey launched two cross-border military operations into areas of northern Iraq since 2017, targeting the bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region. The frequency of Turkish attacks has increased since the beginning of the year, with Turkish forces operating only 40 km from major Iraqi Kurdish cities, including Erbil – the de-facto capital of the semi-autonomous region.
Unless the regional government takes urgent action, the territories in Iraqi Kurdistan attacked by Turkey will be completely evacuated, the residents of Bradost told Roj News.
“The only reason why Turkey shells us is that we are Kurds, they see Kurds as an enemy, we did not do anything wrong except being Kurdish. KRG must defend us, if they cannot, they should tell us clearly”, Mamand Raan from Berchekha village said.