Civilians have been killed and villagers threatened by Turkey’s widespread airstrikes in northern Iraq. Ankara claims to be fighting “terrorists” but has used disproportionate force. Activists fear that Christian minorities, already threatened by Turkey’s invasions of northern Syria, will have to flee again.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has condemned Turkey’s operation “Claw Eagle,” launched last week. Airstrikes pounded Sinjar, the area where Yazidi minorities are recovering from the 2014 ISIS genocide. Following the airstrikes, Turkey launched wide ranging attacks into the mountains of northern Iraq in the autonomous Kurdistan region.
Although Turkey claims it is fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), there have been no terror attacks on the country. Additionally, recent revelations from former national security advisor John Bolton’s book paint Turkey as merely carrying out attacks to feed nationalism at home and to strike at Kurds throughout the Middle East.
Kurdistan24 reported that Turkish jets hit an area in Dohuk province on Saturday that came near a Christian village called Bersev. There are 300 minority families in the vulnerable area. And there are reports of civilian casualties in the mountains.