Shengal Autonomous Assembly warns of new attacks against the Yazidi land

The Democratic Autonomous Assembly of Shengal warns of new attacks by the Turkish army and calls on Baghdad and the UN Security Council to take concrete measures to end the violence in the Yazidi settlement area.

The Shengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly (MXDŞ) warned of new attacks by the Turkish army. For the seventh day in a row, intensive reconnaissance flights are being recorded in the airspace of the main Yazidi settlement area in northwestern Iraq, the Assembly said in a statement on Sunday. "If our people or our defence forces become the target of air strikes by Turkey again, the Iraqi government will be responsible," the MXDŞ said.

The Yazidi community survived the genocidal attacks of the terrorist organisation "Islamic State" (ISIS) in 2014, but has been repeatedly attacked by Turkey since 2017. "The international disregard for these human rights violations encourages Ankara in its aggressive actions against our society in Iraq. Seîd Hesen, Zerdeşt Shengalî and Merwan Bedel were just three of dozens of friends murdered by the Turkish state on Iraqi soil,” stated the MXDŞ.

The MXDŞ stressed that Turkey's airstrikes in its "war on terror" have repeatedly claimed civilian victims, including children, saying, "Yet there was and is no public debate about their deaths. Iraq's loud silence encourages the Turkish state to commit further crimes. We call on Baghdad to take concrete measures against Ankara and appeal to the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibility and stand united for an end to the violence against Shengal.”

Turkey regularly bombs Shengal and other places in Iraq

Turkish airstrikes are routine in southern Kurdistan and Kurdish settlement areas of Iraq, but have been intensified since the summer of 2020. Especially regions where guerrillas are suspected, but also civilian settlement areas are bombed almost daily. The Turkish regime claims that it is only taking action against "PKK positions", invoking the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Numerous organisations and bodies, however, point to violations by Turkey of the ban on the use of force, since there is no self-defence situation at all. Nevertheless, the airspace controlled by the USA and Iraq has been cleared for Turkish fighter jets.

Air attack on hospital in Shengal goes unpunished

The main Yazidi settlement area of Shengal is also repeatedly targeted by Turkish fighter jets and killer drones. Turkey feels threatened by the self-governing structures that the members of the ancient religious community have painstakingly built under the impression of the genocide committed by the jihadist militia ISIS in 2014, and does not even shy away from airstrikes on hospitals. In June, three civilians were killed in a Turkish drone strike in Shengal, including a twelve-year-old. In July, five people were killed by a Turkish air strike in nearby Tel Afar. A few days later, the Turkish army bombed the summer resort in the village of Perex (Parakh) in the Zakho district with four artillery shells from a base in southern Kurdistan. Nine people, including several children, were killed and more than twenty others were injured.