Bombing a refugee camp with jets

Following the invasion threats against Northern and Eastern Syria, the Makhmur Refugee Camp and Shengal were attacked with fighter jets.


The murderous Turkish state attacked Makhmur the night before with fighter jets. The identities of the deceased have been announced: A mother, her daughter and her granddaughter were killed alongside a guest in their home.

I don’t know any other instance of fighter jets attacking refugee camps. There were Israeli massacres in Palestinian Sabra and Shatilla camps in 1982, but there are no other instances of jets attacking refugee camps.

The Turkish state has bombed the Makhmur Refugee Camp with fighter jets twice since last year. In both attacks, villagers and self-defense force members have fallen martyr.

The Makhmur Camp has been under UN supervision since 1998. Villagers in the camp have migrated from villages in Northern Kurdistan’s Hakkari, Sirnak and Van cities. They left the villages Hilal, Mijin, Gundik Remo, Spindarok, Gundikê Melê, Nirevh and some villages of Cizre to live in the camp. The people of Makhmur are a people whose villages were burned down because they didn’t accept the Turkish state imposition to become village guards. Almost all households have one family member killed by the Turkish state. So, the targeting of Makhmur is not random.


No international power has protested the Turkish state attack against the Makhmur Camp to massacre the residents therein. The UN staying silent against the Turkish state attack against the camp that has been under their supervision for 20 years infuriates the villagers further. The UN is obligated to take a stand against this attack against the camp they supervise as per their responsibility. Central Iraqi Government and the Southern Kurdistan (Bashur) Regional Government should also stand against this attack. The camp is under UN’s responsibility through the Iraq and Bashur administrations. Silence by these forces are read by the people as complicity in the attack.


The people ask as they protest the murder of a 73-year-old mother, her daughter, her granddaughter and their guest: “If you did not approve the attack, why don’t you react to it? Your non-reaction makes us suspect that you have approved the attack. We as the people of several villages have sought refuge here, fleeing the tyranny, oppression and torture of the Turkish state. The Turkish state burned our homes and villages down, they confiscated our property. You didn’t speak up, and now you won’t speak up even as they murder us?”


About 30 minutes after the attack, an Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi from lower Makhmur delegation visited the camp. They inspected the affected areas and then went away. Iraq protested and said “such atrocity” is unacceptable after they realized there were civilians and villagers among the people killed in the attack. Meanwhile, they used words like, “They shouldn’t have struck these areas normally, they said they would target areas further away,” shows that they were in fact aware of the Turkish state attack.


Last night, the invading Turkish state attacked Shengal as well, simultaneously with their Makhmur attack. This attack on the eve of the sacred holiday the Yazidi people were preparing to celebrate shows their rage against the Yazidi faith, and that they have taken it upon themselves to complete what the ISIS gangs failed to do.

Immediately after taking over Mosul in Iraq in 2014, ISIS first turned to Makhmur and Shengal. The Kurdish freedom guerrillas’ efforts in defending them both against ISIS are well known. RTE ordering massacres in both shows once more the rage he has because the cities resisted against ISIS.


The Turkish state’s attacks against Makhmur and Shengal are completely within the responsibility of the US and the international coalition. Iraqi air field has been supervised by the US and international coalition since 2003. There can be no attacks in Iraqi air space without the US and international coalition’s knowledge. The invading Turkish state has been bombing the Bashur mountains using scout data provided by US Herons since 2007. Dozens of women and children have lost their lives in the attacks since. In the last two years, there have been more attacks against the vicinity of villages, towns and cities as well as Shengal and Makhmur. None of these attacks were without the knowledge of the US and the international coalition. There had been attacks against Karacox Mountain, Shengal and Yazidi leader Zeki Sengali as he was returning from a memorial service in the Kocho village, where ISIS gangs carried out a great massacre before. Both the statements US officials made after the attacks and the meetings they held show that Turkey did inform them about the attacks but didn’t tell them the exact hour or targets. These statements and this narrative from the US is absolute falsification. Turkish jets could not have attacked if they hadn’t had information on the time and place of the attack beforehand, jets cannot enter Iraqi airspace without declaring their time and target.

This brings us to this conclusion: It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Turkish state attack against Makhmur and Shengal last night were planned together with the US, even if not openly. The US decision against 3 leaders of the Kurdish Freedom Movement is also connected. They are pursuing a policy to scare the people away from the Kurdish People’s Leader, the struggle and the Kurdish movement through intimidation.


This plan by the US and Turkey won’t succeed. The people of Makhmur flooded to the village square immediately after the attack, and the slogans they chanted show their rage. Instead of pushing people away, many people have gotten even closer to the Kurdish Freedom Movement, becoming more unified and embracing the movement further. The people took to the streets in several European countries to protest the massacres and showed their loyalty to the Leader and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, proving once again that the US and Turkey won’t succeed.