SULAIMANI, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker and five Kurdish factions called on the international community to stop Turkey from shelling the Kurdistan Region.
Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq issued a statement on Tuesday expressing concern over Turkish airstrikes on Peshmerga forces, Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and civilians in Sinjar and Syrian Kurdistan-Rojava (Kurdish controlled areas in northern Syria).
“While I denounce the Turkish attack, I call on the international community and Coalition to limit these attacks which are a violation against the sovereignty of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” Mohammed said.
Separately, Change Movement (Gorran), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and Kurdistan Islamic Movement (KIM) issued a statement condemning the Turkish air raids in the district of Sinjar.
The five factions said the Turkish warplanes once again violated the sovereignty of the Kurdistan Region and shelled the headquarters of the Peshmerga forces and positions of Kurdish fighters as well as civilian buildings and places in Sinjar.
“We strongly denounce those inhuman attacks and the Turkish military is responsible for the killing and destruction as well as any tension that may occur,” the statement added.
They also called on the United Nations and the international community to condemn the attacks and prohibit the Turkish army from carrying our further attacks as it is against international law.
Turkish warplanes launched air raids against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated YBS in Sinjar at 2 a.m.
According to the YBS, one fighter was killed and another one was also wounded.
The air raids on the Peshmerga headquarters in Sinjar is reported to have killed five Peshmerga and wounded nine others.
The region’s Ministry of Peshmerga said in a statement that the airstrikes on the Peshmerga were “unacceptable,” and urged the PKK to withdraw its fighters from Sinjar.
The air raids on Sinjar came after Turkish officials have repeatedly said Turkey would not allow Sinjar to become another Qandil – a mountainous area in the Kurdistan Region where the PKK has formed a base over recent years.
Yeni Safak news reported on April 6 that the Turkish government was planning to launch a new operation against the PKK in areas of the Kurdistan Region.
The news agency said the operation against the PKK in Sinjar would begin at the end of April and the beginning of May.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population. Nearly 40,000 people have been killed in the resulting conflict since then.
A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.
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