The Turkish air force recently carried out new airstrikes on Iraq’s northern governorate of Ninawa, a day after Iraq’s Prime Minister Haydar Al Abadi visited Ankara.
The Turkish military action comes as Yazidis condemned Ankara’s threats to their area, saying the recent airstrikes only carry on what the Ottoman empire did against them for centuries.
Yazidis say their situation is still vulnerable after the appalling murders and enforced slavery of Isis.
Turkey’s jet fighters bombarded targets in the Sinjar area on August 19th including Wadi Shilo, and attacked units from a local resistance force returning to a small village in the Western Sinjar mountains.
The airstrikes also killed a member of a Yazidi committee known as Mam Zaki Shankali. Mam was wanted by the Turkish government over alleged ties with the Kurdistan workers’ party.
He was returning from a commemorative event in Kuju, a small town on the border with Syria, whose occupants were all murdered by Isis in August 2014.
Dawood Jundi, a Yazidi member of Ninawa governorate, says the Turkish bombardment is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. “It’s disrespectful to Iraq to see Turkish fighters carrying out airstrikes against Iraqi areas while the prime minister holds meetings with his Turkish counterparts. Unfortunately, Turkey did not respect the Iraqi government and its sovereignty, nor our people.”
Jundi said in an interview with “7DNews” that Isis fighters were aiming to wipe out the Yazidis. He accused Ankara of funding and backing the terrorist group and facilitating the movement of its fighters.
“Turkey is killing the fighters who could save the lives of the remaining Yazidis. They struggled at a time when the victims did not get any help, either from Iraq’s army or the Peshmerga. Those fighters took part in kicking the terrorists out”.
According to Jundi, Mam was one of those on the ground fighting the terrorists; “he had a prominent role in saving the lives of thousands of Yazidis, what is more painful for us, is to see the Turkish actions taking place while people commemorate a brutal massacre where thousands were killed and other women were taken as slaves, it’s another tragedy”.
He said more than 80 percent of Yazidis are displaced in camps in Kurdistan, “when our people see what happened to the Kurdish town of Afrin in Syria, Yazidis become discouraged and fear to return to their homes as they could find themselves under the rule of Turkey’s military and its mercenaries”.
He urged the Iraqi government and the international community to take security measures to protect them from the Turkish threats, “this could reassure displace people and motivate them to return, we need positive messages from Baghdad’s government and Kurdistan’s one. We want guarantees so that people will not suffer again as they did before under the attack of terrorists. Unfortunately, Turkey doesn’t care about this and continues to threaten military operations
.He asserted that Ninawa governorate’s local government has tried many times to send an official request to Baghdad in order to tackle the Turkish moves ‘However, nothing has been done, it seems that some politicians are keen to serve Ankara’s agenda.
Two days after the attacks, Iraq’s foreign affairs ministry condemned the airstrikes and urged Turkish troops to leave the area, in the meantime the Turkish presidency said the prime minister Haydar Al Abadi was previously told that the attacks were going to take place”.
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesperson for Turkey’s presidency, confirmed that Ankara and Washington had considered intensifying military operations against the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Kalin rold reporters in a press conference after a cabinet meeting on August 19 that Turkey will go further in its operations in the North of Iraq.
He added that Erdogan and Abbadi discussed inclusive operations in Sinjar, Makhmur and Kendil.
A spokesperson for Iraq’s foreign affairs ministry denied any coordination with Turkey over the recent attacks ; "‘ties between Ankara and Baghdad should be based on a unified vision for fighting all forms of terrorism, in way that save civilian lives and keep them away of conflict zones”.
The High Commission of Human Rights in Iraq denounced the Turkish attacks and called on the Iraqi government to use diplomacy, either by addressing a demand to the Security Council or other international bodies.