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TURKEY was accused of using chemical weapons against guerilla fighters yet again in its war against the Kurdish people in northern Iraq.
According to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) officials, “chemical warfare agents” were deployed against tunnels used by armed resistance fighters in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region’s mountainous Duhok province, which borders Turkey.
It claimed that such “dirty tactics” have been used on at least 12 occasions, although the Morning Star has not been able to independently verify the allegations. The latest attack was said to have taken place on Saturday.
Turkey, which has Nato’s second largest army, is bogged down in what could potentially be a lengthy and costly battle in the province after it launched Operation Claw-Lightning on April 23.
Turkey’s war is opposed by all political forces in Kurdistan along with the Iraqi Communist Party, which deems the invasion illegal and an open attack on the country’s sovereignty.
On Sunday, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) executive committee member Edhem Barzani wrote an open letter to the Kurdistan regional presidency and the United Nations in protest against Ankara’s military operations.
“Kurdistan, this beautiful land, which is the common heritage of humanity and the nation of the Kurds, is systematically burned and plundered under the pretext of defence,” he wrote.
He warned that Turkey does not leave places where it gains a foothold, such as Cyprus.
It is the first time that a senior member of the ruling party in the Kurdistan Regional Government has criticised Turkey in such a way and puts additional pressure on President Nechirvan Barzani to speak out.
Late on Sunday, the KDP Asayish security forces stopped a “human shield” making its way to the Behdinan region where hundreds of Kurdish villagers have been forced to flee their homes due to the incessant bombing.
Despite the alleged atrocities committed by a Nato member state, the international community has remained silent and allowed Turkey to continue to operate with impunity.
Guerilla forces told the Star that they would fight to the end and warned Turkey that it was being dragged into a war it couldn’t win.
Mr Barzani said it was time for all forces to come together to take the situation seriously and “ring the bells of danger.”
“It is time for us to take a stand on this situation by trying all methods at international level,” he said.
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