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Over 40 villages evacated in Duhok’s Zakho amid Turkey-PKK conflicts: official

  2021-06-09  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A column of smoke billows after Turkish warplanes bombed Kurazhar mountain range in Shiladze sub-district, Duhok, Kurdistan region, Iraq, June 7, 2021. Photo by Prs
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – More than 40 villages have been evacuated in Darkar and Batifa towns in Zakho district of Duhok governorate due to clashes between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish army since late March, said an official.

Damage caused to large swathes of the villagers’ agricultural lands including groves and orchards, Zakho District Mayor Dilsher Abdulsatar said.  

“Some of the villages were reconstructed and people live in there. Part of them were used by their residents to plant crops,” Abdusatar said. “Life has completely stopped in the villages for now.” 

Since April 23, Turkey has started an operation against the PKK in Duhok’s border areas and erected at least four new military bases adding up to almost fourth others in the Kurdistan Region.

Zinar Kesta village vacated amid Turkey’y airstrikes and shelling in Duhok’s Amedi district, May 4, April 9,2021.  Photo by Mehvan Mecid/ Zhyan News Network

Ove the past 24 hours, the Turkish warplanes bombed the PKK targets in Shahe village in Amedi district and Bazif village in Akre district in Duhok governorate. 

Four civilians have so far been wounded by Turkey’s bombardments and more than 1,500 civilians from 22 villages have evacuated their villages to escape Turkey’s assault, according to Christian Peacemaker Teams- Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT-IK).

Turkey has recently come under for loggings in the restive areas. 

“Felling trees by Turkey has stopped for now. We will have stances if it starts again,” Safeen Dizayee, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations, told Voice of America on Tuesday. 

Since May 2020, Turkey has constructed 81 kilometers of new roads in Duhok’s northern Zakho and Amedi that can be liked with increased logging of trees. These roads are likely used in the Turkish military campaign against the PKK, Wim Zwijnenburg from the PAX, a war monitor, tweeted.

The Turkey-PKK clashes have pitted the latter against another Kurdish political party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

The KDP enjoys a cordial tie with Turkey and it is accused by the PKK of facilitating Turkey’s aggression. 

Six Peshmerga fighters affiliated with the KDP were killed in two incidents in less than a week in the war-stricken areas. PKK denies involvements in the killings.

Military experts have warned of a renewal of civil war between the PKK and KDP as the tensions are high between them. A civil war between the PKK and the ruling parties claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides in the nineties. 

(Zhyan English)