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At least one killed in Turkish airstrike on Iraqi Kurdistan

At least one killed in Turkish drone strike on Iraqi Kurdistan
3 min read
01 March, 2024
Turkey escalates drone attacks and assassinations against pro-PKK activists in the Sulaymaniyah province in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
Turkey has been conducting regular airstrikes in the Iraqi Kurdistan region as well as in northeastern Syria. [Getty]

At least one person died as a result of a suspected Turkish drone attack on Friday afternoon in a neighbourhood downtown Kakar District of Sulaimaniyah province, in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, a police spokesperson told The New Arab. It is the first time a suspected Turkish drone strike has struck a residence in the district.

"At about 1:00 pm local time, a person was killed due to an airstrike on the roof of a house in Kalar's Martyrs neighbourhood," Ali Jamal Quduri, spokesperson of Garmiyan police, told TNA during a brief interview over the phone.

He said an investigation has been launched, and they cannot disclose the victim's identity now. He said it is not yet known which country conducted the airstrike.

The person who was killed is close to the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, a party close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a well-informed source in the area told TNA on condition of secrecy.

In another related escalation, a Kurdish physician from northeast Turkey called Sabri Abdul Qadir was reportedly killed late on Thursday in Sulaimaniyah downtown by an unknown gunman. The physician has resided in Sulaymaniyah over the past 12 years and was seen as close to the PKK, according to local media outlets. Kurdish security forces have initiated an investigation into the incident.

The tensions come after Turkey expressed concerns about revoking the quota of minorities in the Kurdistan Region as per a decision by Iraq's Supreme Federal Court as per a complaint by the ruling of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Sulaimaniyah and Kalar are under the defacto ruling of PUK. Turkey has also accused PUK of "harbouring" elements of the PKK in areas under its control, claims refuted by the party.

The PKK, formed in the late 1970s, seeks Kurdish autonomy in Turkey and is designated as a "terrorist organisation" by Turkey, the US, the UK, and the EU.

Turkey has been conducting regular airstrikes in the Iraqi Kurdistan region as well as in northeastern Syria, an area known by Kurds as Rojava and ruled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

According to figures by Kamaran Othman from the Community Peacemaker Teams - Iraqi Kurdistan, since August 2015, more than 152 Kurdish civilians have been killed, and more than 228 others have been wounded as the result of Turkish military operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region