Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hundreds of Kurds forced to flee as Turkish forces approach

As 20,000-30,000 Turkish troops amass at the Turkish-Iraqi border, many Kurds have been forced to flee their homes, according to IRIN . Already, there have been some civilian casualties and calls from Kurds residing in the area of food and water shortages.

Attacks launched by the Turks have been apparently aimed at cutting down Kurdish rebel forces, according to Iraqi border police. Kurdish fighters are reportedly moving into abandoned homes to prepare for a possible invasion. The Turkish offensive is associated with the internal threat it faces from its own Kurdish minority – a group that is said to be receiving assistance from Iraqi Kurds. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented in a press conference last week that his “country should focus on the large number of militants operating in Turkey before seeking them out in Iraq, but that the problem should be tackled from both sides.”

In the midst of the conflict, local aid groups are requesting that supplies and assistance be allowed through the security zone for the civilians caught in the turbulent area. Additionally, both the U.S. and Iraqi governments condemn the notion of the northern Kurdish region of Iraq is being used to launch an offensive against Turkey in hopes of gaining control of the nation’s Kurdish populated areas in the southeast.

For the full article, click here.

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