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Orchards, groves destroyed in blaze in PKK-Turkey clashes in Duhok

  2021-05-14  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Smoke billows in Kesta and Chalke villages in Kani Masi district amid ongoing clashes between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish army in northern Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, May 14,2021. Photos by Amar Hiruri/ Gav News
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Almost the entire orchards and groves in Kesta, Chalke and the peripheries of Hirure villages in Kani Masi sub-district northwest of Duhok were destroyed following clashes between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish army on Friday (May 14). 

Zhyan News Network reporter Mazn Shangali citing anonymous sources said that the fighting occurred at around 04:00 pm.

“Fire is still raging at some orchards and gunshots and artillery fires are being heard intermittently,” Shangali added. 

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

Kesta and Chalke villages are void of residents after being vacated recently amid fear of Turkey’s ongoing artillery fires and airstrikes. 

PKK has started an armed struggle for Kurdish cultural rights against the Turkish authorities since 1984. It is headquartered in the Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas. 

Turkey’s airstrike and shelling are almost a daily recurrence in the Kurdistan Region, more notably in the border areas. It launches cross-border operations every now and then.

No civilian casualties have been reported so far since the new Turkish push began, but at least thirteen civilians were killed in the Turkish airstrikes in Ankara’s previous cross-border operation in 2020. 

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).

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)