DINARTA, Kurdistan Region – Residents of 12 villages in the Akre area of Duhok province have fled their homes in the past two months because of Turkish airstrikes.
Jameel Mustafa has been raising livestock in Kavilka village for 45 years. But he had to flee two months ago.
“We’re now displaced. Because of the Turkish airstrikes we are displaced. If there are no airstrikes, we will live our life. We left our animal feed and houses. We left everything,” he said.
The farmers are worried about caring for their animals, having abandoned their winter feed stocks when they fled. Some 1,500 – 2,000 sheep and 200 – 300 cows are affected, said Shaaban Khalil, the head of Dinarta subdistrict where Mustafa’s village is located.
Turkey frequently conducts airstrikes against alleged PKK positions in the Kurdistan Region’s mountains. The bombs have driven hundreds of people from their homes and destroyed fields and forests.
Dozens of civilians have been killed, including six in the past month. The bodies of two still have not been recovered.
Iraq filed a formal complaint against Turkey at the UN Security Council this week.
Locals in nearby Shiladze stormed a Turkish base in January. They are angry with Turkey and the PKK for bringing the conflict into the Kurdistan Region, and with the government in Erbil for failing to protect them.
Reporting by Naif Ramadan