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World Condemns Turkish Artillery Strikes that Killed Nine Civilians in Northern Iraq

Thursday 21 July 2022
World Condemns Turkish Artillery Strikes that Killed Nine Civilians in Northern Iraq

Alwaght- International organizations and world countries condemned the latest Turkish artillery strikes against a tourist resort in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, which killed at least nine civilians and wounded more than 20 others.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) roundly condemned the shelling  against the northern Iraqi hill village of Parakh in the Zakho district on Wednesday, and expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

“Civilians are once again suffering the indiscriminate effects of explosive weapons. Under international law, attacks must not be directed at the civilian population”, the UNAMI said in a statement.

The statement added, “UNAMI therefore calls for a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack and emphasizes that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq must be respected at all times.”

The UN mission then urged all parties engaged in military operations in the region to cease any violations against civilians, without delay.

Arab League condemns Turkish attack on northern Iraq

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit also condemned on Thursday the Turkish attack that targeted a tourist resort in the northern Iraqi province of Duhok.

Jamal Rushdie, a spokesperson for the secretary general, quoted Aboul Gheit as saying that he emphatically rejects the shelling as it is an attack on Iraqi sovereignty, and represents a clear violation of international law and a flagrant breach of the principle of good neighborliness.

Rushdie pointed out that “the Arab League supports Iraq in rejection and condemnation of Turkish attacks, and that it denounces any encroachment or violation of the sovereignty of any Arab country.”

He called on Ankara to “make recalculations, maintain the principle of good neighborliness in its relations with regional countries, and refrain from carrying out military operations inside the territories of Arab countries under any pretext.”

The Arab Parliament also slammed the Turkish strikes, describing them as a flagrant violation of all international conventions and principles.

The legislative body of the Arab League said in a statement that it “condemns the brutal Turkish attack on Dohuk province in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which resulted in the death of nine civilians and injury of several others.”

“This attack represents a blatant encroachment of all international conventions and norms, and constitutes a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and the principles of good neighborliness,” the statement read.

The Arab Parliament went on to stress its “solidarity and full support for the Republic of Iraq as regards all measures it takes to protect its nation and territories and defend its sovereignty,” calling on Turkey to “stop such hostile acts, respect the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and abide by the principle of good neighborliness.”

The Arab Parliament finally expressed its “sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and wished all those injured a speedy recovery.”

Iran condemns deadly attack on northern Iraq

Separately, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the deadly shelling in the Iraqi city of Zakho, which resulted in the deaths and injuries of dozens of ordinary people.

The spokesman for the ministry, Nasser Kana’ani, also expressed his sympathy with the families of the victims, the Iraqi government and nation, and underlined Iran's firm support for the stability and security of Iraq.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the security of Iraq to be that of its own, and does not hesitate to provide any assistance in this regard,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry extended its sincere condolences to Iraq on the attack, saying it “condemned in the strongest terms the heinous attack, and stressed the need for respect for international principles and conventions concerning protection of civilians.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry went on to highlight Cairo’s “full support for the sovereignty of Iraq, and its support for measures taken by the Iraqi government to preserve the security and stability of the country and its brotherly nation.”

Germany seeks 'urgent' probe of deadly Iraq shelling

Moreover, Germany on Thursday called for an urgent probe into the Turkish bombardment of the Kurdish hill village in northern Iraq.

“There must urgently be light shed on the circumstances of the attack and those responsible,” Germany’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The German government assigns great importance to respect for Iraq's state sovereignty and international law,” it added.

The United States on Wednesday also condemned the attack.

“The killing of civilians is unacceptable, and all states must respect their obligations under international law, including the protection of civilians,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

At least four missiles hit the resort area of Barakh in the Zakho district of the Kurdistan region, district mayor Mushir Mohammed told The Associated Press on Wednesday. All the casualties were Iraqi citizens.

The victims reportedly included Iraqi tourists who had come to the area to escape sweltering temperatures further south in the country.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi dispatched the country’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and top security officials to the site, and ordered an investigation into the incident.

“Turkish forces have perpetrated once more a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” Kadhimi said, condemning the harm caused to “the life and security” of Iraqi citizens.

“Iraq reserves the right to retaliate against these aggressions and take all necessary measures to protect our people,” he added.

Iraqi protesters on Thursday chanted slogans, demanding the expulsion of Turkish Ambassador Ali Riza Guney outside the Turkish visa office in the capital Baghdad, and in the shrine central city of Najaf.

In the holy city of Karbala, dozens of people protested in front of a Turkish visa center, burning a Turkish flag. Protesters also staged a protest in the city of Nasiriyah, situated about 360 kilometers (225 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Protesters also gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday to condemn the artillery strikes.

Demonstrators stood outside the Turkish embassy, chanting slogans condemning the strikes.

Turkey launched a new cross-border incursion into Iraq, dubbed Operation Claw-Lock, in April. The air-and-ground military attacks target suspected strongholds of the members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group in Zab, Basiyan, Avasheen, and Korajiwar districts in the Kurdistan region. 

The Iraqi government summoned the Turkish ambassador shortly afterward and handed him a “strongly worded” protest note over the offensive, calling it a blatant violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty. 

For its part, Ankara also summoned the Iraqi charge d'affaires and warned him that the military operations will continue if Baghdad doesn’t take action against PKK members. 

Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

 

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Turkey Airstrike Iraq Kill Civilians World Condemn

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