Dozens of Christian villages in Southern Kurdistan depopulated

The European Syriac Union points out that more than thirty Christian villages have been depopulated during the Turkish invasion in Southern Kurdistan. The Union calls for urgent action to protect the population.

According to the European Syriac Union (ESU), more than thirty Christian villages in Southern Kurdistan have been depopulated during the Turkish invasion that started on 16 June. The Turkish air and ground attacks have led to fear, displacement and the death of civilians, according to a statement published today.

The Turkish state, ruled by the AKP, continues to occupy and conquer areas in its neighbouring countries Syria and Iraq in order to expand its sphere of influence and impose an Islamic way of life through demographic change. The association points to the mass expulsions and human rights crimes following the occupation of Afrin in 2018 and other northern Syrian territories last October, and states that the attacks on Christian villages have led to a new exodus.

Since the beginning of Operation Eagle's Claw in Northern Iraq, more than thirty Assyrian and Chaldean villages have been depopulated, people have fled to Duhok, Zakho and other places. The inhabitants are descendants of the genocide of the Syriacs in 1915 and of the people expelled from Hakkari in 1924.

The ESU calls on the Iraqi central government and regional authorities to stop the Turkish operation and to ensure that the affected population is protected. The UN, EU, USA and regional forces are called upon to find a lasting solution for the people of the region, especially the ethnic and religious minorities.