SULAIMANI - A Turkish air strike killed at least three people and injured others on Saturday (June 5) at a camp for displaced people in the Kurdistan Region housing thousands of Kurdish refugees from Turkey, said Rashad Kelani, an official for Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
The air strike took place three days after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned Iraq that Turkey would "clean up" Makhmour refugee camp which it says provides a haven for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
“I will say this for the first time tonight, that we will deal with the Makhmour issue as much as Qandil,” Erdogan said during a live interview with some reporters in a program held by state TV TRT, referring to Qandil mountain range in the Kurdistan Region where the PKK fighters are based.
"Now we care. Why? Because Makhmour is almost the incubation nest for Qandil. This breeding nest is almost growing in the city center,” he said. “If we don't go about it, this breeding nest will continue to produce."
An Iraqi security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed an air strike had killed and injured people in the camp but did not give details.
Makhmour district hosts a refugee camp, Makhmour Refugee Camp, consisting of refugees fled the Turkish authorities in 1994 as Turkey accuse the PKK of recruitment in the camp. The camp and its surrounding are often subject to the Turkish airstrikes.
Makhmour camp was bombed 40 times during another Turkey’s operation in 2020.
Turkish forces have stepped up attacks on bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside the Kurdistan Region over the last year, focusing their firepower and incursions mainly on a strip of territory up to 30 km (about 20 miles) inside Iraq.