SULAIMANI – Turkish Parliament established on Thursday (July 1) a special commission to investigate the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish forces in its operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region, reported Morning Star.
Chemical weapons have been used on at least three occasions in the Duhok’s mountainous region of Amedi, according to a motion raised by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Nuran Imir citing the Morning Star.
“Canisters marked in Turkish as ammonium nitrate, a common fertiliser which can be combined with other chemicals to form explosives, were allegedly dropped by Sikorsky helicopters during more than 40 days of Turkish bombing as they try to flush out the PKK,” British daily newspaper Morning Star reported.
The newspapers said it has received “photographic evidence” proving the use of chemicals by Turkish forces in the “Small Cilo” region in the Zagros mountains in a separate incident in May.
Chemical explosives were dropped by Turkey’s Sikorsky helicopters in the military offensive —Operation Claw Lightning — which was launched on April 23, it added.
On April 27, a group affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Tuesday (April 27) accused Turkey of using chemical weapons three times in Amedi.
Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) spokesman Zagros Hiwa was quoted by Morning Star as saying “They used chemical weapons in the Mamresho hills overlooking Basyan river, and Marvanos hills overlooking the Avashin river.”
Turkey has recently intensified shelling and aerial bombardment of suspected PKK positions in the Kurdistan Region deploying troops to several border areas.
Turkey has a long history of using chemical weapons against Kurds. In 2017 five people were killed and eight others were injured in a Turkish chemical weapons attack on Makhmour refugee camp 50 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the Kurdistan Region’s capital.
In the 1930s, former Turkish President, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk dropped gas on Kurds in Dersim during the uprising there.
On Monday, electricity went out in over 70 villages in the district due to clashes between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish army.