The Turkish military conducted several airstrikes across the Iraqi Kurdistan region yesterday and has claimed to have eliminated 12 PKK targets. Kurdish officials that have oversight of the areas targeted deny that there were any casualties nor was there a real damage to infrastructure. According to the Turkish military, the airstrikes were an attempt to destroy PKK owned supply caches and shelters located in the Qandil region. They also boasted a total of 34 PKK militants have been eliminated since June 1.

Mayor Kwestan Ahmed, or Rawanduz, told local media that the Turkish jets hit Bokriskan and Zargali villages. The mayor of Choman also said the jets hit targets near the Iranian border, specifically the villages of Kalak Balayan and Qasre. The mayor of Sidakan, Ahmed Chalabi, said similar things while naming Shapan, Hakurk, and Khalifan as the targets; all said that no serious material damage or casualties had occurred as a result.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made continuous threats against the PKK and has vowed to pursue them into Qandil, a known PKK headquarters. The PKK claim that the whole operation is nothing more than an attempt by Erdogan to get re-elected. Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) executive council member Mustafa Karasu said, “Why is the operation on the agenda now? It is psychological warfare and election propaganda.”

TEV-DEM out of Rojava, north eastern Syria, stated,

This operation isn’t for the sake of gains in the so-called elections scheduled to be held on June 24, for which Erdogan trades the blood of the Turkish nation. Rather it is a deeper plan, signifying Turkish determination in exterminating our nation. That is why the issue is one of existence and non-existence. We call on our nation in Southern Kurdistan, including all political, societal, and party organizations, at their forefront the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Gorran, and the Iraqi government in Baghdad to take a stance against what Erdogan does and to counter it with all they have got to tackle his policy in Southern Kurdistan.”

Featured image courtesy of the author.

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