Says US-based Community Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish, Iranian strikes destroy over 440,000 acres of land in Kurdistan Region

NEWSROOM — Over the past 17 years, 444,789 acres of land, including forests, grasslands, orchards, and agricultural fields in the Kurdistan Region, have been destroyed due to ongoing bombings and military incursions by Turkey and Iran, according to the U.S.-based Community Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan.

On June 5th, World Environment Day, global attention turns to the factors contributing to environmental degradation and seeks solutions. In this context, the Kurdistan Region faces significant threats to its environment, particularly from the persistent military actions of Turkey and Iran.

Kamaran Mala Osman, coordinator of the CPT Kurdistan team, told 964media that beyond the burning of land and the environment, 2,500 livestock belonging to local residents were also killed due to the bombings from 2007 to 2024.

“161 villages have been completely abandoned, with no agricultural activities being conducted,” Osman stated.

Regarding the environmental impacts of these military operations and bombings, Osman explained, “All the bombed lands have become barren, unable to sustain any vegetation again.”

CPT previously revealed that Turkey has carried out 241 bombardments in the Kurdistan Region in the last three months, with Iran launching 15 additional attacks.

Turkey regularly conducts airstrikes in areas of the Kurdistan Region, citing the alleged presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been waging a war with Turkey for decades.

CPT’s monitoring highlights that in 2023 alone, military operations and airstrikes resulted in 11 civilian deaths and 13 injuries.

The report also details Iran’s military activities, with 15 attacks primarily targeting Erbil governorate and one in Sulaymaniyah. These attacks consisted of nine missile strikes, four drone attacks, and two cross-border gunfire incidents.

For its January missile strikes on Erbil, Iran cited the alleged presence of Israeli Mossad headquarters in Erbil. These allegations have been dismissed by the Kurdistan Regional Government and the region’s political figures.

In an interview with Monte Carlo Radio, Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said, “The accusations from Iran are baseless, and Iran knows better than anyone that these are false claims.”

“Iran would not have dared to bomb Erbil if the city actually housed Mossad headquarters,” Barzani stated.