Middle East

PKK terrorists using civilians as human 'shields' in northern Iraq

2,000 villages evacuated as result of PKK presence in civilian areas, says local politician

23.06.2022
PKK terrorists using civilians as human 'shields' in northern Iraq

DUHOK, Iraq

As Türkiye's ongoing anti-terror operations in northern Iraq progress, the PKK terrorist organization is using local civilians as human "shields."

Residents of the Amedi district in Duhok province want an end to the PKK terrorist organization's presence in the area.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Adnan Sinci, a resident of the town of Sheladiz, revealed that the terror group was using civilians as human "shields" against the Turkish Air Force's precision air strikes.

Locals in town of around 5,000 people are increasingly worried by the situation, he said.

Sinci further underlined that many residents in rural Amedi were compelled to leave their homes because of the PKK terrorist organization's presence.

They want to return to their ancestral homes, but for this to happen, the terror group must be removed from the area, added Sinci.

A local senior politician, Sidki Nerveyi, underscored that the PKK terrorist organization had caused the people of Amedi much suffering.

Nerveyi said that 2,000 villages in the district were now abandoned, adding that the PKK terrorist organization had also prevented local authorities from providing public services.

Also speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ramazan Kivli, a political analysist, highlighted that the PKK terrorist organization was disturbing stability and security in northern Iraq.

PKK terrorist group's presence in northern Iraq

On June 5, 2021, five Peshmerga soldiers were killed in a PKK terrorist organization ambush in Duhok province.

According to official data from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the PKK terrorist organization had occupied 515 villages on the borders of Duhok, along with the provinces of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, in 2015. Of these, 304 were in Duhok, while 177 were in Erbil, and 34 in Sulaymaniyah.

Following Türkiye's successful cross-border operations in recent years, the PKK terrorist organization retreated from the Turkish border into Iraq. It has occupied 285 more villages over the last seven years.

In a statement on Feb. 27, 2021, KRG Prime Minister Masoud Barzani emphasized that authorities could not rebuild 800 villages because of the PKK terrorist organization, adding that they would not tolerate the terror group's presence in the region.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

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