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Nearly 40 PKK resistance fighters killed by Turkish chemical attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan, group claims

NEARLY 40 Kurdish resistance fighters have been killed in chemical weapons attacks during Turkey’s illegal six-month war in Iraqi Kurdistan, officials said today.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) said that the Turkish state had resorted to the use of such tactics as it has been “unable to implement its occupation plan and has suffered defeat.

“As a result, the systemic crisis of the Turkish regime has worsened,” it said in a statement.

In its balance sheet of the battle in the mountainous border region, the PKK claimed: “The number of our fighters who fell in chemical weapons attacks by the Turkish state this year is 38.”

It claims to have details of 323 separate incidents of poisonous gas attacks on guerilla positions, but believes the figure is even higher.

The assertions have, however, not been independently verified and the figure cannot be corroborated for accuracy. 

As a signatory to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, Turkey denies holding a stockpile of chemical weapons and denies suggestions it has used them.

But a Christian peacemakers team monitoring the impact of Turkey’s military operation suggested that white phosphorus may have been used in an attack which targeted agricultural land last month.

Farmer Haji Abdullah Hiruri, his wife and daughter were treated in hospital with severe burns and vomiting after losing consciousness during Turkish artillery fire, the group reported.

Earlier this year, a Morning Star report led to calls for the Turkish parliament to establish a commission of inquiry into the alleged use of chemical weapons, but this was rebuffed.

However calls for investigations continue to grow with questions submitted in the German and Italian parliaments over the past two weeks.

Protests were held outside the offices of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons demanding action, but the international bodies have remained unmoved.

Neither has responded to numerous requests for comment from the Morning Star with critics accusing them of collusion in the genocide of the Kurdish people.

“Turkey is being encouraged to commit war crimes by international silence,” a PKK spokesman said yesterday.

The Kurdistan National Congress, an umbrella organisation which includes the PKK, has called for urgent action to hold Turkey to account for war crimes.

“If [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s war policy is not stopped, our people are threatened with a similar catastrophe as under the Ba’ath regime,” Kurdistan Communities Union official Sukrula Hemedemin said.

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