PUK demands Baghdad protect civilians, sovereignty of Iraq from Turkish attacks

Border residents displaced

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SULAIMANI — Following days of Turkish attacks on targets in the Kurdistan Region and northern Iraq, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) Political Bureau on Thursday (June 18) demanded that the federal government preserve the sovereignty of Iraq and take urgent steps to protect the lives of its people.

The PUK said in a statement that the borders of the Kurdistan Region are being “conquered in broad daylight,” adding that the Turkish operations are damaging crops and farms and harming civilians.

On Wednesday, a shepherd was killed in Erbil governorate’s Sidikan district by a Turkish airstrike.

“A significant portion of the residents in towns and villages near the border are now refugees and their farms, the only source of income they have, are now destroyed due to the airstrikes,” the statement said.

On Monday and Tuesday, Turkish forces launched a series of airstrikes across northern Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, hitting targets in Qandil, Makhmour, Haji Omaran, and Mount Sinjar.

It then followed up those strikes with a ground operation in Duhok governorate on Wednesday.

Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Turkish ambassador twice in three days this week to lodge formal protests.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has so far remained silent.

Twice this week, demonstrators protesting the Turkish operations have been out on the streets of Sulaimani, a part of the Kurdistan Region from which the PUK draws much of its support.

(NRT Digital Media)