IRAQI KURDISTAN: Fatal Turkish bombing prompts call to defend Kurdish civilians

8 November 2012
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Fatal Turkish bombing prompts call to defend Kurdish civilians

Turkish air strikes in northern Iraqi Kurdistan on 7 November killed two civilian men and injured two others.

About 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 7 November, Turkish military jets attacked a group of Kurdish men while they were resting during their journey, transporting goods over the mountains between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan.

The CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team met with one of the survivors, Rebaz Ahmed Ismail, and his family at a hospital in Sulaimani on 8 November.

Rebaz told CPT that he and his group had been traveling this specific road into Iran for at least three years. He stressed that neither he nor any of his group were armed.

Rebaz lost one leg in this attack; the other was seriously injured. Two of Rebaz’s friends were killed and another was seriously wounded.

A large number of jet planes were observed flying over the mountain region in the two days prior to the attack.

Apart from two news agencies, no other media and no governmental representatives had met with this survivor of a fatal military attack within Iraqi Kurdistan by one of its neighbors.

Turkish cross-border attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan intensified after the U.S. began providing Turkey intelligence in 2007. After a grassroots campaign by CPT and local partners, civilian casualties ceased for over a year until Wednesday’s attack.

CPT calls on journalists to heighten their coverage of Turkish attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan and to highlight the resulting civilian casualties.

CPT calls on Sulaimani governorate and Kurdish Regional Government to meet with Rebaz and to support him and other victims (and their families) of the Turkish cross-border attacks.

CPT calls on the Kurdish Regional and the Iraqi Central Governments to pressure Turkey to cease all military action within Iraqi Kurdistan.

Finally, CPT calls on the international community to speak out against Turkey’s violations of the human rights of Kurds on both sides of its national boundaries.