People of Maxmur continue resistance against siege by the Iraqi army

The people in Maxmur Camp continue to resist the Iraqi army, which, under pressure from Turkey, wants to fence in the self-governing camp with barbed wire and eventually clear it.

The Iraqi army wants to fence in Maxmur Camp and put it under permanent siege. The population of the self-administered refugee camp in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) assumes that blackmail attempts by the Turkish state are behind the measure.

The people of Maxmur have been resisting the military siege for two days. On Saturday, the Iraqi army used firearms and the residents reacted by throwing stones. Ahmed Ömer, a young resident of the camp, was shot and injured. The siege of the camp continues, and people have set up a tent at the entrance to keep vigil. ANF spoke to residents about the current situation.

Sadiq Evdal said that the people in Maxmur only demand freedom and fraternity. He said that the fact that the Iraqi army was fencing the camp and erecting observation posts was unacceptable to the people. "If we were to accept barbed wire and towers, we would have already done so in our homeland. We are against oppression and insult. We have done so in the past and we will continue to do so."

Another resident, Meryem Cindî, stressed that they would not accept the siege: "We will resist. As long as we are alive and blood flows through our veins, we will prevent anyone from entering our camp."

About 12,000 people live in Maxmur. The first generation of the camp's population fled to Southern Kurdistan in the early 1990s due to the destruction of their villages by the Turkish state. The camp is self-governed by its residents according to the principles of Democratic Confederalism. After the ISIS attack in 2014, an embargo by South Kurdistan’s ruling party of the Barzani clan, KDP, followed in 2019. The Turkish air force has bombed the camp several times.