Turkish bombardment in Duhok’s touristic locations , killed over a dozen of tourists

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Alleged Turkish bombardment targeted several touristic locations in Duhok’s Zakho district, killing over a dozen of tourists and injuring several others, an official told Shkoi Kurdistan on Wednesday with the toll expecting to rise. 

At least eight people were killed and 23 others were injured, Chiya Amin, head of Zakho’s tourism directorate said of the latest toll, which includes children as well. 

The tourist were part of a 200-person tourism group from Baghdad, he added. 

Zakho mayor Muhsin Bashir said Turkey bombarded Parakh village twice, claiming that members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “were roaming the village, which led Turkey to bombard it.” 

The toll is expected to increase. 

Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the Kurdistan Region to escape summer’s searing heat in central and southern Iraq. They tend to cool off and swim in Duhok’s cold waters and roam the mountainous area where Ankara has established a number of military bases and outposts. 

Turkey launched its latest operation dubbed Operation Claw-Clock on April 18 targeting PKK hideouts in the mountainous areas of Metina, Zap, Avashin, and Basyan in Duhok province. The operation is the fourth stage of Ankara’s Claw operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region, with the first stage starting in 2019.

The PKK is an armed group fighting for the rights of Kurds in Turkey and designated a terrorist organization by Ankara.

Despite Ankara’s denial, the assaults have previously led to civilian casualties who are often caught in the crossfire in the Region.

Two children were killed during Turkey-PKK clashes in late May. 

International Crisis Group says that the Turkey-PKK conflict has killed at least 597 civilians and 266 “individuals of unknown affiliation” since July 2015. 

Ankara has received widespread criticism from Baghdad, Erbil, and the international community for violating Iraq’s sovereignty. Its recent military operation has been condemned by Iraqi officials, who labeled it as a “hostile” and “provocative” violation of the country’s sovereignty. 

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