A Turkish armed drone has bombed the countryside in Duhok, Northern Iraq, killing at least two young children and injuring two others, local sources reported on Thursday evening.
Villagers from Bamerne in the Amadiya district were outside in the plains of the countryside for a wedding when the Turkish drones attacked, according to witnesses.
“First, Turkish forces shelled the mountains,” the father of one of the boys, 13, told local media. The other boy was 6 years old.
Drones armed with missiles struck the area between 17.00pm and 18.00pm local time, the father said.
Duhok Governor Eli Teter told Rudaw that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was responsible for the attack on the picnic area, while eye-witness statements contradicted his statement.
Village chief Birqi Ömer told Rudaw that PKK fired three mortars at a Turkish outpost in the area, and that soldiers retaliated by firing two mortars. Ömer said the two deaths occurred as a result of the Turkish soldiers’ fire.
Kurdistan Counterterrorism Directorate, under the Kurdistan Regional Government, said that PKK fighters had fired two missiles.
“There is a Turkish military base near our village. We can be proud of bringing the Turks so close to our home, so they can kill us like this,” a villager told Roj News. According to the villager, there were strikes against at least three spots.
“It has been revealed once again via the Bamerne massacre that Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) relations with the Turkish state and their erroneous policies have created negative outcomes,” Hawar News cited the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) as saying in a statement.
“KDP officials and media attempting to blame the incident on our forces is the result of their fear of the people’s righteous protest,” the military wing of the PKK added. “The KDP has worked hard to legitimise all massacres against the Kurdish people by the invaders, in every instance.
The military outpost that witnesses reported fire from, is one among some 80 bases Turkey established in recent years in Iraqi Kurdistan. Locals have been protesting against the permanent Turkish presence in the area, while the Kurdistan Regional Government has extended its cooperation with Turkey.
Ankara launched Operation Claw-Lock 17 April, and the operation has been mired with controversy with both civilian casualties and alleged use of chemical weapons.