Drone strike kills one, wounds six in northern Iraq – Rudaw


A drone strike killed one person and wounded at least six more, including women and children, in northern Iraq, Rudaw reported on Thursday evening.

The bombing killed one gunman in a pickup truck and wounded six civilians – two women and two children – five of whom were from the same family in the Sharbazher district of Sulaymaniyah province, the Kurdish news outlet quoted Sharbazher Governor Shaho Osman, as saying.

Osman did not say which organisation the gunman was affiliated with nor which country the drone belonged to, however Turkish military forces have been carrying out air and ground operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq since last week. Iran also routinely targets Kurdish fighters based in the same region.

The Turkish Defence Ministry did not immediately release a statement on the strike.

A witness speaking with Rudaw said the two drone missiles fired hit the truck and a shop near a resort in Kuna Masi, a village popular among tourists.

Another unnamed witness said the death toll was higher than reported.

“We were at the fountain in Kuna Masi. All of a sudden, the planes bomb our place. A funeral ensued in the targeted vehicle,” he told Rudaw. “There were other dead people in the vehicle. One of those injured in the same vehicle also escaped.”

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Tiger last week, a cross-border ground operation targeting the PKK in various regions of northern Iraq in response to an increase in attacks against Turkish military forces.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, including 7,918 members of Turkey’s security forces, 5,557 civilians and 22,101 PKK members between 1981 and 2012, according to a report by Turkish parliament.

Turkey regularly targets PKK in operations in northern Iraq and on home soil.

Leyla Güven, the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a platform of Kurdish associations and movements based in Turkey, called the drone strike a “massacre” and posted a short video on Twitter of a family playing in the water before a missile hit the area.

“Kurds were massacred. Watch footage of the moment of the massacre. See how the children’s laughter is suddenly destroyed by bombs,” Güven tweeted on Thursday.

“Those who say, ‘we are brothers’ and ‘our neighbour is also Kurdish’, have you still no words to say? Then don’t talk about brotherhood!”


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