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02/12/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish bombardment continued in early February, targeting regions in Syria and Iraq that included refugee camps, civilians, and SDF. The airstrikes directed at the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) occurred at the same time as the U.S. coalition engaged with Islamic State militants during the Syria prison attack.

Turkish airstrikes in Iraq and Syria are named by Ankara as a fight against a Kurdish terrorist groups YPG and PKK. Yet the latest attacks occurred outside the range of normal operations for the group and instead hit civilians and forces attempting to actively combat the Islamic State, calling into question Turkey’s commitment to fighting global terrorism. The country’s inaction also was questioned following the recent raid that resulted in the death of the ISIS leader in Idlib, near the Turkish border. Turkish airstrikes in Syria largely disrupt the fight against the Islamic State.

In Iraq, Turkish airstrikes often hit religious and ethnic minorities in regions where no PKK militants are active. As highlighted by Nadine Maenza, Chair of USCIRF, there are many times already genocide survivors now facing attacks from a neighboring government.

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