Soldiers storm villages, seize people's supplies, destroy caves

In the Northern Kurdistan province of Amed, soldiers storm villages, confiscate the people’s supplies and destroy the caves in the mountains.

In the mountainous region between the provinces of Amed (Diyarbakır) and Batman in northern Kurdistan, a military operation has been taking place since 10 February in which 440 military policemen, village guards and soldiers are involved. The soldiers are storming villages and hamlets with air support.

During the raids, winter supplies, hunting rifles and many other items are confiscated. Photo albums were also taken from some apartments. In addition, soldiers threw hand grenades into historical caves and fired into them. Some of the caves collapsed due to the explosions.

This is not the first time that cultural assets in the region have been destroyed during military operations. Last July in Lice district of Amed, more than a dozen caves in the 8,000 years old Birkleyn area were destroyed. At Birkleyn, one of the western arms of the Tigris spring rises to the surface from the Taurus Mountains, having previously flowed through a natural tunnel for about a kilometer. According to archaeologists, the geographical situation characterizes the site as something special in the Middle East and made it a mythical attraction in many eras. This site was considered by the Assyrians, among others, to be the actual source of the Tigris and is interpreted as the site of a natural sanctuary. Assyrian rulers of the 12th century BC left inscriptions and rock reliefs in the caves.