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HDP calls for halt to Turkey’s cross-border operation in Kurdistan Region’s Duhok

  2021-05-04  | 
 Zhyan News Network
File - HDP flag
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) on Monday (May 3) called for an end to Turkey’s current military operation in the Kurdistan Region’s northern Duhok governorate launched over a week ago. 

On April 23, Turkey launched across-border land and air operation codenamed “Operation Claw-Lightning” and “Claw-Thunderbolt” in PKK-controlled Duhok’s Avasin, Metina and Zap areas in northern Duhok governorate.

Based in the Region’s mountainous areas, PKK has started an armed struggle since 1984 against the Turkish authorities for Kurdish cultural rights in the country.

"Turkey has been carrying out air and ground operations under the name of border security since 1983 on the territory of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government," HDP’s Central Executive Committee said in a written statement published by Binaet.

"such cross-border operations serve nothing but increase war and conflict.” 

“In a country [Turkey] in the midst of economic, social and political crisis, deprived of food, jobs and vaccines, it is not in the interest of society to allocate economic resources to war, conflict and arms at a time of daily unemployment and suicides,” HDP said, referring to the economic hardship people face in Turkey amid an economic decline. 

It also accused the Turkish government, ruled by Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), of distracting the public opinion in the country by launching cross-border operations in the Kurdistan Region. 

“Whenever the government gets stuck in foreign and domestic politics, it immediately clings to cross-border operations,” the Kurdish party said. 

“The response of the Central Bank Governor to the question ‘Where is 128 billion dollars’, ‘Our warplanes do not fly for free’ is an important admission that is actually expressed. The government deepens all kinds of crises by insisting on security and confrontational policies.”

Turkey oftentimes anti-PKK operations in the Kurdistan Region’s border areas. Its airstrike and artillery shelling are almost a daily recurrence there. 

Cross-border land and air violations by Turkey has tripled on a daily average since 2017, according to records submitted by Iraq to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Despite casualties on part of PKK and Turkey, no civilian death has been reported since the outset of the new Turkish push, but at least thirteen civilians were killed in a Turkish operation in 2020.

Since July 20, 2015, the conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK has claimed more than 5,311 lives on both sides in Turkey and the Kurdistan Region, including 541 civilians, 1,279 Turkish state security members, 226 individuals of unknown affiliation and 3,265 PKK members, according to the latest data by the Belgium-based International Crisis Group.

(Zhyan English)