07/02/2024, 13.02
Send to a friend

Kurdistan: Turkish army strikes Christian villages, two churches destroyed

A series of bombings and raids have hit the Dohuk governorate over the weekend. Miska and Rabatkeh were targeted, houses and places of worship were hit. Residents put out a fire triggered by the bombs, limiting the damage. The hashtag #Turkey_Occupies_Dohuk has gone viral.

Erbil (AsiaNews) - Two churches seriously damaged, several houses destroyed and a community living in fear of new violence. This is the balance, still partial, of a series of bombings and raids by Ankara's army in the governorate of Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan, which hit several Christian villages in the northern Nahla valley, near the border with Turkey and Iran. The attacks date back to last weekend and confirm fears of a serious military escalation in the area where, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, operative bases of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are located.

Since 28 June, the Turkish Air Force has launched a series of operations in the valley north of Iraq, in which there are numerous Assyrian-Chaldean Christian villages that have no connection with Kurdish militiamen. Ankara claims to want to strike the militiamen, who belong to a faction that is considered terrorist, but in reality it also ends up targeting the civilian population of the area, as various sources confirm.

The latest to be hit - in the current year there have been almost 840 'attacks and bombings' by Ankara's armed forces, resulting in the death of eight civilians - are the villages of Miska and Rabatkeh. The Turkish bombs also caused massive fires in the mountains, which also affected the homes and property of local residents.

The church in the village of Miska was damaged after being hit by a grenade, while two other houses were destroyed even though there were no people inside at the time of the explosion. A video released by RojNews revealed the extent of the destruction (click here for the footage), with debris piling up around the church and houses devastated by the shelling.

In the village of Rabatkeh, another grenade hit civilian targets and caused a huge fire, but the prompt intervention of the inhabitants allowed the flames to be extinguished without causing further damage, thus also saving the place of worship. The scale of the violence prompted activists and Internet users to denounce it by launching a series of posts with the hashtag #Turkey_Occupies_Dohuk, which is trending on social media and shedding light on the growing military presence that is causing residents to move. A spiral that fuels the anger and discontent of locals.

Following these repeated attacks, villagers are in shock and there is great fear for families, homes and property. Christians are often caught in the crossfire in a region with a growing number of hotbeds of tension from Iraq to Turkey, from Iran to the Holy Land. Hence the appeal of the Christian communities to local institutions and authorities to provide "adequate protection" in the face of a growing risk to life and personal safety.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Arrests, censorship against protests and Kurdish problem
Barzani: overwhelming victory of "yes" to referendum. Ankara and Tehran against Erbil
27/09/2017 10:32
Turkish air strikes block the return of Yazidi refugees
12/02/2022 17:33
Erbil offers to 'freeze' the results of the independence referendum
25/10/2017 09:38
Kirkuk, clashes between Iraqi and Kurdish troops. Fear of a new conflict
16/10/2017 10:34


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”