Iraq: Turkish air raid on refugee camp

A Kurdish official said at least three people were killed and several others were injured in the Turkish air raid. Thousands of Kurdish refugees from Turkey are housed in the camp.

Airstrike on a refugee camp in Iraq by Turkey a few days after threats from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about a military strike on the territory of Iraq. At least three people were killed and several others were injured, according to a Kurdish official. There are thousands of Kurdish refugees from Turkey in the camp. An Iraqi security official confirmed that there were casualties, but did not provide details.

Over the past year, Turkish forces have intensified their attacks on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq, concentrating their firepower and invading Iraqi territory, mostly in a 30-kilometer strip of Iraqi territory.

Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Mahmur, a camp 180 kilometers south of the Turkish border that has hosted hundreds of Turkish refugees for more than two decades, is a hotbed for militants and needs a solution.

“If the United Nations does not clarify this, we will do it as a UN member,” the Turkish president said, adding that Ankara believes that Mahmur poses a serious threat as a PKK stronghold in the northern Qandil mountains. “How long must we be patient?” he said on the air of the state television channel TRT.

A senior Iraqi official told Reuters that Turkey last week protested in Baghdad over “terrorist attacks unleashed by the PKK from its Mahmur camp against Turkey.” Security commanders and local officials have investigated Turkey’s allegations and told the government that the Mahmur camp is under the control of PKK militants who do not allow government forces to enter, the official said.

The camp was founded in the 1990s when thousands of Kurds from Turkey crossed the border, which Ankara said was deliberately provoked by the PKK. Mahmur was already the target of Turkish airstrikes a year ago, although no casualties were reported at the time. But a senior Turkish official said that this goal is now a priority for Ankara.

Source: Reuters

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