Yazidi child killed in Turkish airstrike in Sinjar, 7 others wounded
A 12-year child was killed due to Turkish drone strikes on a marketplace in the Snune sub-district of Sinjar in the Iraqi Kurdistan region on Wednesday, a source from the overwhelmingly Yazidi-populated town told The New Arab.
"Turkish airstrikes have hit the People's Council in Snune, the council is located in the main marketplace in the town, and consequently a child named Salah Nasir was killed in a stationary shop," a well-informed source from Snune told TNA on condition of anonymity fearing reprisal.
"My son Salih was martyred in a tyrannical Turkish airstrike targeting the People’s Council in Snune. He was selling pencils and copybooks," the child's father write in a Facebook post.
TNA spoke with Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operation Command, for comments on the strike but he said that talking in such matters "is not within his expertise".
TNA also contacted Yahya Rasul, the spokesperson of the General Command of the Iraqi Armed Forces, but he was not immediately available to comment.
Since May, Turkish drone attacks in civilian-populated areas have left ten civilians, including three children.
Sinjar, home to members of the Yazidi religious community, is located 120 km west of Mosul. Islamic State (ISIS) militants took over Sinjar in August 2014, a Yazidi-majority district along Iraq's north-western border with Syria, after the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmerga forces retreated, leaving the Yazidis to experience a genocidal campaign of killings, rape, abductions and enslavement by the ISIS militants.
Subsequently, the Yazidis established the armed Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), with the help of the PKK to defend their vulnerable community. This is not the first incident in which the Iraqi army and PKK-affiliated forces have clashed. Several YBS commanders and civilians have also been killed in previous Turkish drone attacks in northern Iraq.
Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) is seen as allied with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK, a Kurdish guerrilla force struggling for autonomy in Turkey, was formed in the late 1970s by Ocalan. The PKK, described by Turkey, the United States and the EU as a "terrorist" organization, has launched an armed war against the Turkish army since 1984, a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, many of them civilians.