29 July 2016
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    » 01/17/2016, 13.03

    IRAQ – TURKEY

    For Chaldean bishop, Turkish air strikes against Kurdish villages are “acts of terrorism”



    For four hours last night, the Turkish Air Force bombed the village of Sharamesh, forcing 37 families to flee, including eight families that had escaped the Nineveh Plain under the threat of Islamic State violence. Ankara’s war against the possible emergence of a Kurdish state continues.

    Amadiyah (AsiaNews) – Between 11 pm and 3 am last night, Turkish planes carried out air strikes against a Kurdish village in Kurdistan, northern Iraq, destroying houses, fields and even the local water storage facility. For Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Amadiyah and Zaku, “We must have the courage to call this for what it is: real terrorism!”

    The Turkish Air Force sought to hit PKK bases (the Kurdish Workers' Party, which is considered a terrorist organisation in Turkey), but struck instead 37 families that had been living in the village of Sharamesh for years, a few kilometres from Zaku, including eight families that had fled the Nineveh Plain before it was overrun by Islamic State (IS) group.

    "All these families have fled and now can no longer live in the village because everything has been destroyed, including the water storage," said a distressed Mgr Rabban.

    "This morning, as soon as he found out what had happened, the patriarch of Baghdad immediately offered a sum of US$ 10,000 to help all these families cope with the emergency.”

    “It is high time to denounce these Turkish acts of terrorism. We must have the courage to call this for what it is: real terrorism! These poor people are now terrified and scared. As if the threat from Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group) were not bad enough.”

    Officially, Turkey is part of the US-led international coalition against the terror group. However, many accuse Ankara of complicity with the caliphal militia because it allows the group to smuggle weapons, recruits, and oil through its borders. Turkish air strikes in Syria and Iraq are thus aimed more at PKK hideouts than IS targets.

    Operations like last night’s have an additional goal, namely prevent the unification of Kurdish areas in Syria, Iraq and eastern Turkey, which could lead to the emergence of a Kurdish state.

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    See also

    03/02/2016 16:48:00 IRAQ
    Chaldean bishop backs Barzani on referendum for Kurdish independence

    The Kurdish leader says that the "time has come” for the Kurdish people to decide “their future”. A consultative referendum would express the “will" of the people. Mgr Rabban al-Qas backs a secular basis, open to all faiths, based on shared citizenship and equal rights.



    15/01/2008 IRAQ/ITALY
    Iraqi bishops ask the Italian government for support
    Bishop Rabban al-Qas and Archbishop Louis Sako meet with Gianni Vernetti, undersecretary for foreign affairs. From the government of Kurdistan, a request for an end to Turkish aerial attacks.

    02/11/2007 TURKEY – IRAQ
    Rice in Ankara to stop Turkish attack in Kurdistan
    US Secretary will meet Turkey’s president and prime minister. She is also scheduled to meet three-way with Turkish and Iraqi foreign ministers to find a common strategy against PKK “terrorists.”

    24/05/2016 18:45:00 IRAQ
    For Iraqi priest, IS, violence and divisions have created a sense of brotherhood with Muslims

    Living side by side has been replaced by a desire to be “a community”, said Fr Samir Youssef, a priest in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is the result of the “merciful” welcoming of Christian, Muslim, and Yazidi refugees. Recently, 62 people from the diocese of Amadiya took part in a spiritual retreat to discuss pastoral outreach, mercy and catechesis. Iraq need more nuns and priests.



    19/08/2014 IRAQ
    As the liberation of the Nineveh Plains gets underway, Kurdistan bishop waits for Pope Francis
    For Mgr Rabban Al-Qas, bishop of Amadiyah, bomb disposal experts are needed to clear mines. The terrorists of the Islamic State have laid scores of them, slowing down the push by peshmerga and regular Iraqi troops. The Kurdish government allocates US$ 12 million for Christian refugees. A possible papal visit is raising hope.



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