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Zakho villages emptied amid Turkey-PKK conflict

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Zakho villages emptied amid Turkey-PKK conflict

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:45 pm

Zakho villages emptied
amid Turkey-PKK conflict

Villages in Zakho have been emptied as a result of PKK-Turkey clashes, crippling life in the mountainous region

"The Turkish state and PKK guerrillas have caused massive damages to our villages, especially the agriculture sector," Zeravan Musa, mayor of Darkare sub-district, eastern Zakho, told Rudaw on Wednesday.

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes and ground operations against suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions inside the Kurdistan Region, particularly in border areas.

Darkare sub-district, home to 63 villages, is located in eastern Zakho, Duhok province.

Musa added that 25 villages have been emptied fearing repeated clashes.

He estimates that the damage caused by the clashes has cost Darkare two billion dinars since 2018.

"There are [villages] that we cannot even visit to estimate the scale of the damages," he added.

According to data gathered by the Darkare municipality, the region has come under 600 bombings in the past two years, sabotaging road access to 20 villages.

Five abandoned villages, recently home to a Christian majority, have been unable to harvest their fruit since 2018, labelled as prohibited areas by the KRG.

In the Christian village of Sharanshasari , all that can be heard is the birds. Houses are empty and people have abandoned their properties and belongings.

"Grapes in my groves and orchards have dried and are of no use now," Minar Habib, the village chieftain told Rudaw.

“This is the result of Turkish bombings and PKK's foothold inside our homes and properties," Habib lamented.

There is constant fear in the region

"Turkey has been bombing our houses round the clock," Hani Tumar, another villager of Sharanshasari said. "Warplanes are flying over the villages round the clock."

"The people of our village have all fled. It is empty now," he added.

The PKK, named a terror organization in Turkey, has its headquarters in Kurdistan’s Qandil Mountains and fights for greater political and minority rights in Turkey.

Turkey launched 'Operation Claw' in late May with the goal of removing the PKK from border areas in the Kurdistan Region.

On Tuesday evening, Turkish warplanes bombed a village north of Sulaimani, forcing locals to flee their homes.

Both Erbil and Baghdad have called on Ankara to halt its attacks and have demanded the PKK withdraw from their territory.

Zakho, often forgotten, has undergone horrors in the past - little is ever spoken of those horrors because so few people survived to tell the tale - everyone, including the PKK, should leave then area alone
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Zakho villages emptied amid Turkey-PKK conflict



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