Kurdish Villages Evacuated Due to PKK-Turkey Clashes
Many villages have been abandoned and hundreds of families displaced close to Iraq's northern border with Turkey as a result of Turkish airstrikes targeting militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, better known as the PKK.
The presence of PKK guerrillas in Sidakan areas of Kurdistan Region has resulted in the displacement of locals and a halt in the rehabilitation projects in the area.
Locals, the security forces and the administration in Sidakan area of Kurdistan Region constantly blame PKK’s presence as it attracts further Turkish airstrikes and, as a result, brings more destruction to the area.
Murshid Mohammed, a local journalist and activist, told BasNews that Turkey continues bombing the area hence PKK’s presence there, a fact which has so far costed the locals civilian casualties and lack of services in their area.
Mohammed revealed that nearly 100 villages, which were destroyed during Saddam Hussein’s regime, have not be rehabilitated because of the presence of PKK.
Sidakan area is of strategic and economic importance as it connects KRG with both Iran and Turkey.
Mohammed explained that the region has a potential to become an important commercial path if the Turkish airstrikes stop and PKK leaves.
The director of Sidakan district, Karwan Karim Khan says they have several times asked KRG and Kurdistan Region parliament to take action and urge PKK to take the security of locals into consideration before its political ambitions.
“We hope PKK realizes that its presence can attract further airstrikes, insecurity and destruction to Sidakan region; and it can pose threat to the locals as well,” Karim Khan said.