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YAZIDI and Kurdish groups have called on the Iraqi government, the United Nations and other international organisations to break their silence over Turkey’s attacks on the Sengal refugee camp in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
Some 20 organisations have signed yesterday’s declaration calling for urgent action in the light of Ankara’s escalation of hostilities in the region via Operation Claw Eagle, a mission it claims is targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Sengal was one of the camps bombed by Turkish war planes last week, with missiles striking 81 targets. There were reports that chemical weapons were used on the UN-administered camp in Maxmur.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has been approached numerous times by the Morning Star but has not commented on the attacks — despite pleas from desperate officials at the camps.
Officials at Sengal have warned of a repeat of 2014, when as many as 5,000 men and boys were slaughtered at the hands of Isis extremists and at least 7,000 Yazidi women and girls kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, subjected to torture and rape.
The UN has declared the massacre of Yazidis at the hands of the jihadists a genocide. More than 3,000 women and girls remain missing and are believed to be in captivity.
“The army of the Turkish state repeatedly attacks Yazidi villages, murders the inhabitants, burns grain fields or kidnaps young women in order to sell them in the end. The Turkish state is therefore no different from Isis,” the declaration read.
The attacks came as Yazidi families had started to return to the area liberated from Isis control after the jihadists were defeated by Kurdish forces.
Last week Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad, who escaped from the clutches of Isis, described Sengal as “a warzone” due to the Turkish aggression.
Kurdish and Yazidi organisations have called on the United States, which still controls the airspace in northern Iraq, to implement a “no-fly zone” to stop Turkey’s bombing raids.
But previously implemented no-fly zones have proved ineffective, as US and British reconnaissance planes handed flight data and co-ordinates to Turkish forces, grounding aircraft to allow them a free run to attack Kurdish targets.
The declaration concludes: “The Turkish state must be stopped, the international community must work to ensure that no further genocide of the Yazidi people takes place.
“What was done to the Yazidi people by the Turkish occupation troops in Afrin [in northern Syria] must not be repeated now in Sengal.”
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