Turkey-PKK War Displaced 220 Families in Duhok Since April: Official
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Turkey-PKK War Displaced 220 Families in Duhok Since April: Official

ERBIL — The ongoing armed conflicts between the Turkish army and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has forced 220 families to escape their homes in five village in the border areas of Duhok province, a local official said. 

Since January this year, Turkey has intensified military actions against the PKK in the border areas of the Kurdistan Region. It has also stepped up aerial operations to target the group’s positions in Mount Qandil and other areas of Sulaymaniyah. 

During an exclusive interview with BasNews, head of Kani Masi district of Duhok, Sarbast Sabri, said the villages in the conflict areas have suffered significant damage, leaving the residents in uncertainty about their return to their homes. 

[Below is the interview which was translated from Kurdish and edited for clarity and length.] 

BasNews: How many villages have been evacuated this year, and why the residents are not able to return to their homes yet? 

Sabri: Five villages were evacuated since April. The residents of Adane, Dishish, and Sarar have not yet been able to return to their homes. Dozens of other villages have suffered massive damage, that includes the villages of Hirury, Kani Sarke, Birifka, Gali Qubmri, Chalka Nasara, Muslim’s Chalka, Kesta, Ora, Adane, and Dishish. 

BasNews: What are the scales of damage caused by the Turkey-PKK war in these areas?

Sabri: Over 22.6 square kilometers of land has been affected, which worths around IQD 7 billion. More than 26 times the electricity network of the villages of Adane, Sarar, and Ora were destroyed, and every time the technical teams had to risk their lives to fix the network in the war zone. 

In the past few years, the conflict has left two civilians killed and 11 others injured. It has also affected tourism in the area while several public service facilities have been destroyed. 

BasNews: What public service projects are underway now in Kani Masi Area? 

Sabri: Almost 90% of the projects approved and funded by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Kani Masi have been implemented. Among them are Jam Sayda road, as well as electricity and water supply projects.

BasNews: Iraqi lawmakers recently visited Kani Masi to investigate the impacts of the Turkey-PKK war. What the investigations bring about? 

Sabri: Only the Kurdish members of the Iraqi Parliament have so far visited Kani Masi, and we shared with them what the people are asking for. However, there have been no actions after the visit. We seek the PKK and Turkey to leave our area and take their war to their land. Moreover, we ask for compensation for the people affected by the conflicts, and facilitation of their safe return to their homes. 

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