Turkish airstrikes of Iraqi Kurdistan
leave seven Kurdish civilians dead
August 21, 2011
The Turkish strike hit a car (photo) in which the
civilians were traveling, Hassan Abdulla, mayor of
the town of Qalat Dizah, located northeast of the
Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah. Photo: by Dana Rezgey/
A child was among the civilians killed by Turkish
The names of the victims are reported as follows;
Hassan Mustafa Hassan (Father), Mer Haci Mam (Mother),
Rezan Hussein Mustafa (34-year-old), Oskar Hussein
(10-year-old), Sonya Shemal Hasan (4-year-old),
Solin Shemal Hasan (6-months-old), Zana Hussein
Mustafa (11-year-old). Source rojhelat
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Seven Iraqi Kurds were
killed in an air strike by a Turkish warplane in
Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region on
Sunday, the first civilian casualties since the
strikes began, a local mayor and eyewitnesses said.
"Seven people, including women and children, were
killed by a Turkish air strike against a civilian
car in Kortek village" located northeast of the
Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan,
said Hassan Abdullah, the mayor of the Qalat Dizah
"Today there was a rocket from a Turkish plane that
hit a civilian vehicle, a pickup, carrying seven
civilians. The seven were killed," Abdulla said.
"The rocket has badly damaged the car... We could not recognize the bodies, their ages, their
identities or even their sex."
Reuters witness said he saw six Turkish warplanes
take off from a base in the Kurdish region in
southeastern Turkey on Sunday morning, but it was
not immediately clear where the planes were headed.
Strikes also targeted the areas of Sidakan and
Choman in neighbouring Erbil province, Abdullah
Sunday is the fifth straight day that Turkish jets
bombed Kurdistan, and the first time that civilian
or other casualties have been reported.
The Turkish military launched a first wave of bomb
attacks on Wednesday against PKK targets in Iraq
after a deadly attack by the rebel group against a
military unit in Cukurca town in southeast Turkey
that killed nine security personnel.
It was the first time in more than a year that the
Turkish military has carried out air strikes on PKK
bases in northern Iraq.
PKK spokesman Ahmed Denis told AFP by telephone
earlier on Sunday that Turkish aircraft were bombing
areas including Qandil,www.ekurd.netKhowakirk,
Haftan, Jabal Mattine and Jabal Karra, all along
Iraq's border with Turkey.
Artillery strikes were also carried out against
Khowakirk, Zakarus and Ifsahim earlier Sunday
morning, he said.
Denis said Turkey had also carried out air strikes
against Jabal Mattine and Haftan on Saturday night.
The spokesman said he believed the Turkish army was
preparing for an incursion into north Iraq.
"The Turkish army is making preparations on the
border with the Kurdistan region of Iraq to enter in
a battle with members of the Kurdistan Workers'
Party," he told AFP.
The Turkish General Staff has issued statements on
its website confirming three consecutive nights of
air strikes on northern Iraq starting on Wednesday
The last statement appeared on Saturday morning.
There did not appear to have been any air strikes on
Since it was established
in 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK has been
fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of
Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south
east of the country, sparking a conflict that has
claimed some 45,000 lives.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who
constitute the greatest minority in Turkey,
numbering to 23 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish
community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees,
lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the
way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within
Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader
Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against
the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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