Turkish Shelling in Iraq Closes Christian School

12/06/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Kurdistan24 News reports that a Christian village in Iraq’s far north has had to halt all school activities because of Turkish airstrikes in the area. The school has been closed for the past ten days. Some of the teachers who are not from the village have refused to return. For this reason, the district’s Education General Directorate is considering transporting the students to other schools so that their education won’t be interrupted.

Turkey has justified their airstrikes in Northern Iraq by claiming that the targeted villages support or have a PKK presence. Turkey has also used this allegation to deepen their territorial gains in Northern Iraq. Christian villages in this area have long been placed in a challenging position. Ethnically, many are Assyrian, not Kurdish. These villages have faced challenges by both the Regional Government and the PKK.

The military activities of Turkey in Northern Iraq have been called into question by various human rights groups. Christians in Iraq have long pointed to years of targeted and escalating violence as why they are making every effort to leave the country. For some of those who are currently experiencing Turkish shelling, the memories of Turkey’s Assyrian genocide in the early 1900s remains an additional point of stress.

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