Fear is growing in Iraqi Kurdistan, along the border with Turkey, since the area was attacked by Ankara's air force, targeting PKK members (Kurdish Workers' Party) in the area.
Fr Samir Youssef, parish priest of Enishke, in the diocese of Amadiya told AsiaNews: "for months they have bombed our mountains to kill P KK members or attack the Kurds, regardless of whether they carry weapons, food or anything else."
He said the violence has intensified recently. "In the last month, they have killed a lot of people, just because they were close to areas controlled by the PKK. In some cases, the bombings also hit the homes of the civilian population... Last week they hit a car carrying aid near the Christian village of Araden."
Hundreds of Christians from Mosul and the Nineveh plain, who fled in 2014 following the rise of IS/Daesh still live in the area today.
Fr Samir said several cars were attacked in the street near Amadya. Several Christian villages in the mountains have been heavily bombed. "I have news of families who have fled their homes to escape these attacks, " he said.
There were Turkey air raids against PKK bases in Iraq in 2007 and 2018. But this latest operation appears to be on a greater scale than previous ones and is part of the policy of 'Nationalism and Islam' promoted by President Erdogan.
The official Turkish news agency Anadolu praised the military operations, which it made it possible to "neutralize terrorists" and which "will continue with determination".
The most affected areas are the Christian villages of Chalik, Bersiveh and Sharanish. AsiaNews says the objective of these military operations is to make the inhabitants flee, in order to clear the way for Turkish bases from which to continue operations against the PKK.
AsiaNews reports that the bombings are always followed by heavy fires which destroy all crops, homes and even cemeteries. Since the beginning of 2020, at least 25 Christian villages in northern Iraq have been emptied of their original population.
Read the full report with video on AsiaNews:
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