Turkish Kurd MPs Visit Victims of Turkish Airstrikes in Iraq

Umit Bektas/Reuters
Umit Bektas/Reuters

Members of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey recently traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan to inspect Turkey’s airstrike against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). At the same time, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubt Turkey has attacked the PKK camps.

“We will take steps in Turkey and in the international arena to ensure that those responsible are held to account,” declared deputy Osman Baydemir.

NATO member Turkey finally joined the strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in July after the terrorist group murdered 32 people and injured 100 in Suruç at “a cultural centre hosting anti-Islamic State activists.” Turkish authorities agreed to allow the United States to use an airbase to conduct strikes against ISIS.

But at the same time, Turkey decided to use the situation to rid themselves of the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group PKK, which has been a thorn in their side for decades. Even though the PKK is against ISIS and even led victorious battles against the group, Turkey is still aiming for them. Kurdish outlet Rudaw reported that Turkey has been bombing northern Iraq instead of Syria. Turkish outlet Zaman also reported the authorities “struck several targets of the outlawed PKK in northern Iraq in retaliation for the PKK’s attacks against security forces and police last week.”

The airstrikes pushed Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, to call for the PKK to leave Iraq completely, as civilians have died in Turkish airstrikes targeting the group. Barzani also condemned Turkish forces for killing civilians in his territory.

Despite the evidence, Medvedev does not believe Turkey is bombing the PKK since they did not receive approval from Baghdad. He also hammered the U.S.-led coalition since the UN Security Council or Syria authorized it.

“This arouses serious doubts about the legitimacy of such action,” he said. “By the way, the recent Turkish air strikes on Iraq cannot but lead to similar issues.”

Turkey’s Kurdish political leader Selahattin Demirtas made an unannounced visit to Brussels, Belgium, where he “asked the EU to push clearly for a truce.” He wanted to know why the EU stopped supporting a peace plan between Turkey and the PKK they worked on for over two years. He also wanted to hear NATO’s stance on the attacks.

“The European Union must very clearly and openly support negotiations between the PKK and Turkey,” he declared, adding:

Why don’t they support them anymore? You must support the negotiations between (jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah) Ocalan and the Turkish government, and push for a ceasefire. The whole world must really cry out that this war is not a just and justified war.


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