06/22/2020, 15.22
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Kurdish bishop: Christians flee Turkish bombing, 'our fear is great'

According to some sources, at least 300 people have left their homes. Many find refuge in Zakho. A Turkish soldier and five Kurdish civilians killed in clashes in the past few hours. Several minor injuries among Christians. Archbishop Rabban: Erdogan and the Turks like "terrorists". At the Zakho cemetery, graves bombed shattering the corpses.

Erbil (AsiaNews) - Turkish fighter planes "bombed" several areas of Kurdistan, hitting "also Christian villages", sowing "fear and terror" and forcing "the population to flee" in search of shelter.

This is what Chaldean archbishop of Amadiyah-Zakho, Msgr. Rabban al-Qas, reported commenting on the Turkish attacks against Kurdish Pkk-related targets of the last few days on the border between Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

"Many Christian families - continues the prelate - according to some rumors up to 300, have found refuge in some houses and churches in Zakho".

Over the weekend there were new bombings in Iraqi Kurdistan by Apache fighters and Turkish air force helicopters, also documented by some videos posted by Christians in the area on social media (click here for the video).

In the images you can hear a family man who, in Aramaic, addresses his children saying to them "Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, plug your ears" in an attempt to placate their tears.

The villages of Chalik and Bersiveh in the northern mountainous region of the country are targeted. Dozens of families have fled the area, where there are at least five civilians killed in the context of the "Tiger's Claws" operation launched on June 14 by Ankara against PKK militants, whom they regard as terrorists. “Among Christians - explains Msgr. Rabban - some are injured, fortunately slightly.

There was also one victim in the ranks of the Turkish army: a soldier who died in hospital from injuries sustained during the gunfights with the Kurdish rebels. The Turkish defense minister confirms the news but does not report the exact place where the fighting between the two fronts would have taken place. To date, two Turkish soldiers killed in the clashes.

Meanwhile, on the diplomatic front, the Turkish ambassador to Iraq announces that the operation will continue until the rebels are defeated and Baghdad expels members and affiliates of the Kurdish Workers Party from its borders. A war scenario reminiscent of the years between 1980 and 1990, when the conflict ended up destroying hundreds of Assyrian-Chaldean Christian villages in southeast Turkey (and northern Iraq).

Msgr. Rabban al-Qas says the Turkish army and their president Recep Tayyip Erdogan are acting like "terrorists", regardless of the suffering of the civilian population and the protests of the Iraqi Kurdistan authorities. "Erdogan wants to hit the Kurds" underlines the prelate and nothing seems to stop him in this escalation which risks having heavy repercussions for the whole region.  Christians and Muslims are being targeted and many "people are fleeing” in front of Ankara's "conquest plan".

“I have heard - continues the bishop of Amadiyah-Zakho - of a Christian cemetery at the gates of the city of Zakho that was hit. The landslides caused by the bombs brought the corpses out of the tombs, terrible scenes”. In some mountain villages, the prelate concludes, "most of the people fled in fear of being hit by Turkish bombs and missiles ... the fear is great!".

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