HPG: Turkish state is bombing villages in Southern Kurdistan to depopulate the region

HPG stated that the occupying Turkish state bombarded civilian settlements in Southern Kurdistan, seeking to displace the local people and to depopulate the region.

The Press Centre of the People's Defence Forces (HPG) issued a statement providing information about the ongoing war in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

“The colonialist genocidal Turkish state and its occupying army are systematically and deliberately targeting villages and settlements in Southern Kurdistan. The villages of Dergelê, Mîska and Bazê in Metîna and the villages of Sergelê, Belavê, Guherzê, Berçiya, Mijê and Spîndarê in Amediye are being bombarded by the occupying Turkish army and fires are starting as a result of these bombardments. The Turkish state, which has burnt down thousands of villages in Northern Kurdistan in recent history, is now trying to completely the villages in Southern Kurdistan in this way, in order to expel the people and completely occupy the region,” said the HPG statement on Sunday.

The Turkish state escalated its genocidal attacks across Kurdistan territory thanks to international silence and inaction in the face of its crimes against the Kurdish people. The invading Turkish state has been escalating its attacks against civilian settlements in South Kurdistan, especially since April 2022. While the increasingly ongoing attacks have killed many civilians, dozens of villages have been evacuated.

There are no official statistics of Turkish military personnel in Iraqi Kurdistan, but local sources report that over 110 military bases have been established up to 35 km inside Iraqi territory. According to Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT), a US-based human rights organization, Turkey has carried out over 800 attacks on the Kurdistan Region and Nineveh province so far in 2024, resulting in eight civilian deaths.

The Freedom Movement (Tevgera Azadî) in Iraq and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) have both raised alarm about Turkey's military presence in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Freedom Movement called for vigilance and unity against the Turkish occupation, criticizing the deployment of tanks and troops in Duhok province as a violation of international law and Iraqi sovereignty. Similarly, the Kurdistan Communities Union expressed concern over the lack of response from Baghdad and Erbil to the Turkish occupation, warning that it poses a serious threat to the communities in the region and could lead to permanent annexation.