HSM calls for an independent investigation into Turkish use of chemical weapons

According to the Turkish defence minister, Turkey has investigated and refuted the allegations of chemical weapons use in Kurdistan itself. HSM calls this ridiculous and calls for an independent investigation.

The People's Defence Center (HSM) Headquarters Command released a statement on Turkey’s continued use of chemical weapons in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and the latest remarks by Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Akar told parliament in Ankara on Friday that Turkey is capable of conducting its own investigation and will not allow any outside body to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use by the Turkish army in military operations in northern Iraq. "Chemical weapons and ammunition are not developed, manufactured, stored or used by the Turkish Armed Forces," Akar said during the budget debate in parliament. The allegations are unfounded and an investigation by a respected international institution such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is therefore out of the question, he said, arguing that the Republic of Turkey is a sovereign, independent state and has the ability to "control and evaluate itself".

Akar went on to say that Ankara had already conducted its own investigations: "On 24 November, we sent a delegation to northern Iraq to conduct analyses and measurements there, collect the results and present them here in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health." As in the past, Akar admitted that the military used tear gas during last year's military operation in Gare. He said this was allowed during law enforcement or special operations to protect lives.

During the operation in Gare in February 2021, the Turkish army bombarded a PKK prison camp for days. The camp contained soldiers, policemen and MIT agents captured by the guerrillas, and thirteen prisoners of war were killed. According to HSM sources, the form of the attack clearly indicated that no one was meant to survive. Fifteen guerrilla fighters were killed in the four-day operation.

In its statement on Sunday, the People's Defence Centre (HSM) said: "The Turkish Minister of War, Hulusi Akar, has presented the public with a model example of hypocrisy. He himself gave the operational order for the 150 chemical weapons attacks on 7, 8 and 9 December on guerrilla resistance positions near the village of Sîda in the Sheladize town in the Amadiya district. Without blushing or feeling ashamed, he stated the exact opposite during the budget debate in the Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) in front of the parliament and thus in front of the whole society on 9 December. He repeated his earlier statements and said that they do not have chemical weapons in their inventory and would never use them. In addition, he accused and threatened those who bring up the use of chemical weapons."

Akar's claim that Turkey investigated and refuted the allegations itself is simply ridiculous, the HSM said. “Investigating war crimes by the perpetrator cannot be objective and lacks any credibility. No power that uses chemical weapons has ever admitted to its own war crimes," the HSM stated, pointing to the example of Halabja. “While the whole world saw the thousands of dead bodies on the streets, Saddam Hussein still denied the use of poison gas.”

"Therefore, no value can be attached to the lies of the war criminal Hulusi Akar. An asphalted road leads to our resistance position, against which chemical weapons were used 150 times within three days. The area can be reached by vehicle and investigations can be carried out there. We call on independent delegations to conduct investigations on the spot and see the truth for themselves," the People's Defence Headquarters concluded.