KNK submits evidence for Turkey’s use of chemical weapons to international organizations

KNK co-chair Zeyneb Murad said that they have submitted documents concerning Turkey's use of chemical weapons to international organizations, adding, “We urge international institutions to launch an investigation into Turkey’s use of chemical weapons.”

The military operation launched on April 23 by the Turkish army in the Avaşin, Zap and Metîna regions of the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in South Kurdistan (North Iraq) marks its 7th month. Turkey has recurrently resorted to the use of chemical weapons in its ongoing operations supported by the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The European Union (EU), the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi central government have remained silent about the employment of chemical weapons. The Kurds and their friends have been taking to the streets in masses to protest the international silence and inaction.

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) co-chair Zeyneb Murad spoke to the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) on the use of chemical weapons by Turkey, the silence of international forces and the attitudes of Iraq and the KDP.


Murad said that the KNK has urged international forces to act against Turkey's use of chemical weapons in its military operations carried out in Zap, Avaşîn and Metina. “We have made attempts to make sure that the national forces do not remain silent towards the Turkish state that has been committing war crimes and step into action against it. As the KNK, we conducted an examination in Bashur (South Kurdistan). We have submitted the evidence and documents we obtained during our investigation to all the consulates of European countries. We also prepared a report based on our findings. There is a lot of evidence and information in this report. We have submitted the evidence to all international institutions and foreign ministries of the European countries. Unfortunately, no official response has been given to us by the authorities so far. Prompted by the lack of an official response, the pro-Kurdish friends in the European Parliament (EP) have taken action and demanded to establish an international commission to investigate into the use of chemical weapons. We also demand the establishment of an independent commission that will include international delegations to visit the region. We are also undertaking efforts for an international investigation against Turkey to be launched,” she said.


Referring to the silence of the international powers, Murad noted that the European states have remained silent for many years about Turkey's military aggression for their own political and economic interests. “This silence has been continuing since the beginning of Turkey’s military attacks. Currently, they remain silent in accordance with the same mentality and interests. Even the international media outlets do not pay attention to it. This is not the first time that our people have witnessed this attitude of the international forces. The Turkish state has used chemical weapons in Rojava in the past. The silence of the international powers has once again encouraged Turkey to use banned and chemical weapons. The truth is that the United Nations (UN) have always supported the Turkish state and the Erdogan government for their own interests. Moreover, Turkey is threatening the UN and European countries over some issues. Turkey uses refugees as a trump card to blackmail these countries. There are also countries that are silent because they sell weapons to Turkey. The international powers are complicit in the crimes of Turkey,” she underlined.


Murad also remarked on the attitudes of Iraq and the KDP. “Their attitudes encourage Turkey. The Iraqi government does not blame Turkey. It has not taken any stance against Turkey since the launch of Turkish military operations in the region. The Iraqi government has preferred to remain silent, but these attacks affect entire Iraq. However, the political crisis in Iraq is gradually getting deeper. For this reason, they do not care about the crimes Turkey commits on the soil of Kurdistan. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has not adopted any particular attitude against the Turkish state since the beginning of these attacks. It seems that an alliance has been formed between Erdogan and Al-Kadhimi. This alliance has been based on certain interests.”


Murad revealed that they have evidence concerning the use of chemical weapons by Turkey. She continued, “We have submitted the findings and evidence collected by the KNK concerning the use of chemical weapons in a letter to various states and called for a complete ban on the use of chemical weapons. We have requested the formation of a commission to investigate the allegations. In the meantime, the People’s Defense Forces (HPG) announced that the Turkish army has carried out 132 chemical attacks against the guerrilla forces and civilians in the region in the last 6 months. We have been told that chemical weapons are used particularly in the villages in the Horiri region. This information was later confirmed by the Christian Peacemakers Teams, an organization operating in the region. These are all documents proving the use of chemical weapons. The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) announced that they were ready to assist if a delegation wanted to visit the region. This shows that the KCK has documents to provide. We can share all of these documents with the international powers.”


Murad pointed out that protests to be staged all over the world could break the silence of the international powers. “The Kurds in Europe and their friends have been taking to the streets for a long time. They have staged various activities. With their protests, they also manifest their commitment to put an end to fascism. This can only be achieved through the continuation of these actions. We should break the silence of the international powers through our struggle. We call on all patriots, young people and women to inform the public about the issue through their activities. In the meantime, we urge the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to take the issue seriously. We should resist together and expose this fascism that has been permeated into our lands. Our people should take a stand against this and meet their national commitments.”