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International organisations urged to condemn new Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan

KURDISH organisations called for an urgent international response to condemn Turkey’s bombing and invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan today as Ankara announced the start of a major new military offensive.

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), a multinational platform of Kurdish groups and parties, warned that Turkey cannot wage war without the support of the EU, US and Nato and called on them to condemn its latest military aggression.

Operation Claw Eagle 2 was announced by the Turkish armed forces with the aim of “neutralising” the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) with a bombing campaign targeting the Hara mountains region near Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan in the early hours.

“Turkish air strikes targeted the villages of Guze, Meyroke, Siyane, Cemseritke, Yekmale and Kanisarke, and soldiers were dropped into the region with Cobra and Sikorsky helicopters. 

“PKK fighters have been fighting since dawn yesterday to repel the invading forces, and heavy clashes are ongoing,” a KNK statement said.

Tensions have been growing for months with the Barzani-led Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) threatening war on the PKK to flush it out of its strongholds in the Qandil and Gara mountains regions, despite a united front in opposition to such plans.

Earlier this week the unelected mayor of Sinjar, the site of the 2014 Yazidi genocide at the hands of Isis, called on the Iraqi government to assert control over the area and demanded the PKK leaves with Turkey threatening to invade.

The KDP, Turkey and the US have been working jointly in operations against the PKK, with all three having overlapping interests: Turkey wants to carry out an ethnic cleansing of Kurds while the US seeks regional domination, particularly in neighbouring Syria.

They are accused of planning a Sunni corridor to separate progressive Kurds in northern Syria from their allies in Iraq and Iran.

Part of the plan sees the US promoting the Barzani-led Kurdish National Council (ENKS) as a pole of attraction in northern Syria to allow the growth of a more compliant administration there in opposition to the more radical PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD).

“The regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly intends to broaden the Turkish military occupation of south Kurdistan and has now chosen to intensify Turkish military aggression to strengthen Erdogan’s grip on power in response to Turkey’s ongoing state crisis,” KNK said.

“Growing Kurdish resistance remains the most formidable obstacle to Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman expansionism and occupation strategy in north and east Syria and south Kurdistan, and Erdogan urgently seeks to silence the Kurds to protect the existence of his decaying increasingly isolated anti-democratic state.”

It called on all international bodies to oppose Turkey’s “declaration of war against the Kurdish people” and press it to abide by human rights conventions and international law.

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