Clashes between Turkey and the PKK endangering civilians in Iraqi Kurdistan

The armed conflict between the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and Turkey has taken a heavy toll on the Kurdistan Region’s borders as up to 400 villages have been evacuated so far.

According to Sherko Zangana, Commander General of the Kurdistan Region’s border patrol, the armed clashes are getting closer to villages as Turkish jets and artillery continue to attack alleged PKK bases.

“As a result, approximately 400 villages have been evacuated and moved to nearby areas that are far from the conflict as people continue to suffer a loss of lives, injuries, and infrastructural damages,” Zangana told Anadolu Agency.

“With the constant threat of being caught in the fight, the people of the border villages migrate more and more daily, which will create a problem in the area.”

The Commander General also noted that when the PKK outposts are attacked, the Kurdish rebels move their bases closer to the villages, putting the people’s lives at risk. The clashes have also damaged farmlands which villagers rely on for income.

Zangana, like other Kurdistan Region officials, reminded both parties that the borders of the autonomous Kurdish region should not be used as a battlefield because it threatens civilian life and their livelihood.