Iraq: Turkish Airstrikes Terrorize Christian and Yazidi Natives
by Uzay Bulut • June 28, 2020 at 4:30 am
“On June 20, they even bombed the safe spot where the other villagers could go.” — Athra Kado, Assyrian rights advocate in Alqosh, Iraq, to Gatestone.
“We have been informed by the Turkish forces that ‘we’ll bomb whenever we want to’… But nobody seems to be concerned about our struggles or wants to help us.” — Younan Youkhanna, Assyrian journalist in Challik, Iraq, which is affected by Turkish bombings.
Turkish airstrikes in Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains this month endanger the safety of the Yazidis and Christian Assyrians, Iraq’s indigenous people. These ethnic minorities were targeted for genocide by ISIS beginning in 2014. Pictured: Battle-damaged buildings in the town of Sinjar, Iraq photographed on February 5, 2019. (Photo by Zaid Al-Obeidi/AFP via Getty Images)
Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced on June 17 that the country had “launched a military operation against the PKK” (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) in northern Iraq after carrying out a series of airstrikes. Turkey has named its assaults “Operation Claw-Eagle” and “Operation Claw-Tiger,” the Turkish government-funded Anadolu Agency reported.
The Yazidi and Assyrian Christian communities in the area had already been terrorized when they were targeted in a genocidal attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) beginning in 2014.
The Yazidi and Assyrian natives of the area have expressed their condemnation of the bombings.
On June 16, the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF) issued a statement, in which it “condemns in strongest terms the Turkish airstrikes conducted in Sinjar, Iraq.”