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Kurds describe Turkey’s invasion as ‘the war you don’t see’ as they appeal for international support

KURDISH villagers appealed to the world to raise their voices against Turkey’s genocidal attacks today, describing the latest invasion in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) as “the war you don’t see.”

Speaking to the Morning Star from the village of Keste, the scene of heavy fighting between Turkish soldiers and guerilla fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Heval Ako said that he and his family were under constant bombardment.

“It is very bad here. We are under daily attacks and bombings. Many people have left, but I cannot. I have my family and animals here. Where can I go?”

He explained that the situation worsened after Turkey launched its latest war, codenamed Operation Claw Lightning, on April 23, the anniversary of the Armenian genocide in which 1.5 million men, women and children were killed by the Ottoman Turkish state.

“Why are they doing this? Why does the world want to kill us? Turkey, Iran, Syria are all attacking Kurds. What did we do to them?”

He said that the international community must do something to stop the massacre of Kurds and stop supporting Turkey, which he described as “a fascist country, like Hitler.”

But he described Turkey’s military operations as “the war you don’t see, that nobody is talking about” and asked: “Why are Kurds ignored?"

Turkey’s latest intervention has forced hundreds to flee their homes in terror, with the alleged use of chemical weapons on at least three occasions against PKK fighters in the Avasin region of Duhok province. 

According to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation which includes the PKK, the operation is part of a longer-term by Turkey plan to occupy the entire region, including Kirkuk and Mosul.

A government report last year found that 504 Kurdish villages in the Duhok and Erbil provinces have been emptied since 1992 due to Turkey’s war on the Kurds.

One of the investigators, Dr Rebwar Babkaye, said that it was difficult to obtain accurate information regarding the impact of Turkey’s attacks.

“But I can say with certainty that in Erbil province alone, hundreds of people have been killed since 1992 and tens of thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the PKK-Turkey war,” he said, with financial losses estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

Turkey claims to be targeting the PKK which has bases in Qandil and the Zap and Metina mountains, but Ankara does not distinguish between ordinary villagers and guerilla fighters.

“It drops bombs to try and scare us,” one resident of Qandil told the Morning Star.

“You have seen the destruction [during a visit to the region]. These are our homes. The people they killed are our families, our parents, our children.

“They know the PKK is not here. But they do not care. Turkey just wants to kill all Kurds. He [President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] is doing what Saddam Hussein did to us.”

The PKK insists that it has the legitimate right to resist and is the only force standing in the way of the total genocide of the Kurds.

“Please help us,” Heval Ako said. “Please stop the genocide.”

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