Turkey Seeks to Neutralize PKK Threat in Iraq

02/22/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) –  Iraq condemned Turkey’s recent incursion into Iraqi territory in Nineveh Governorate. A member of parliament claimed that Turkey does not have the authority to deploy Turkish troops into Iraqi land. Turkey claimed they did so in order to neutralize 33 PKK fighters.

Turkey continues to pursue the PKK to “neutralize” their threat. Often this comes at the expense of bombings in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and within the Nineveh Governorate. Many Assyrian Christians called these areas home prior to the Iraqi war and ISIS. Turkey’s military excursions against the PKK in Iraq began increasing while the country was preoccupied with defeating ISIS, allowing them to establish several military bases within Iraq.

On several occasions Turkey has threatened large military operations into Iraq because of the PKK threat. It is ironic however that Turkey has also faced international condemnation for conducting airstrikes in Iraq’s civilians areas where there is no PKK threat. These areas are often home to religious minorities, such as Assyrians and Yazidis. Their ancestors escaped the Ottoman Era genocide initiated by Turkey against non-Muslims, and they themselves have just escaped the genocide of ISIS. These attacks by Turkey further increase the sense of being haunted by genocide no matter where they live.

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