Turkish war planes bombed Kurdish village of Zergele in northern Iraq Saturday morning, killing 10 civilians and injuring approximately 18.
Turkish jets started bombing the village at 4:00 a.m. The area is located in the Federal Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The planes were bombing the village as part of an assault on the Medya Defense Zones, held by Kurdish guerrillas. Eight rockets targeted homes in the village. A reporter for news agency Rojnews in the region said that many houses have been destroyed. The death toll has now risen to 10, as several villagers have died in the hospital. “There were six houses in this area; they have all been destroyed,” said village Feqî Muhammed. “What’s being targeted here is civilian, innocent people. The Turkish state is using the PKK guerrillas as an excuse to target Kurdish villagers.”
Kurdish General Redur Xelil stated on Facebook that Turkish aircrafts also flew over the Syrian cities of Sarrin and Kobanî Friday morning between nine and eleven o’clock a.m. while ISIS was attacking Sarrin.
…also a group of ISIS entered into Sarrin town targeted our units sites and seven of our fighters martyred. Therefore, we call the Turkish state to clarify this matter and the reason for the flight of their aircraft in the skies of the region.
The suspicion is that Turkey is actively providing ISIS with aerial reconnaissance while it attacks the front-line town of Sarrin.
Jordan Matson, the U.S. Army vet who has been fighting alongside the YPG against ISIS in Syria, said on Facebook:
Coincidentally Turkish planes are flying over our city and Isis attacks???
Isis normally always hide when they hear planes but to go out in the open and assault while there are aircraft in the sky could only really mean one thing…
The strikes against Kurds in Iraq have effectively ended a two-year truce with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that had been a signature achievement of Erdogan’s government.
Obama gave Erdogan the green light to bomb the Kurds in a phone conversation on the 22nd of July, prior to Turkey’s attacks on the 24th.
Erdogan told reporters that in his phone call with the United States president, “we reiterated our determination in the struggle against the separatist organization and the Islamic State. We took the first step last night.”
The separatist organization in question is the PKK, which happens to be one of the most effective ground forces fighting ISIS.
Obama’s Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk defended Turkey last week in tweets following the first airstrikes against the PKK.
The Federal Kurdistan Regional Government called on the PKK to withdraw from Kurdish territory to prevent more civilian deaths amid a campaign of Turkish airstrikes targeting the group.
“We condemn the bombing, which led to the martyrdom of the citizens of the Kurdish region, and we call on Turkey to not to repeat the bombing of civilians,” the statement added, and called upon both sides to resume a Kurdish peace process.
This Kurdish news broadcast shows villagers dragging people out of the rubble in the aftermath of Saturday’s attacks.