Demanding withdrawal of Turkish troops

Activists protest in Sulaymaniyah against Turkish military operations

SULAIMANIYAH – Dozens of activists and journalists gathered on Wednesday at Sulaymaniyah’s Azadi Park to demand Turkey withdraw its troops from the Kurdistan Region, as Turkish military operations intensify inside Iraqi territory.

Turkey is conducting an extensive military operation in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas, leading to the evacuation of several villages.The PKK, an armed Kurdish group, has been fighting the Turkish state for Kurdish rights since the early 1980s.

Environmental activist Sarwar Qaradaghi told 964media, “We reject and strongly oppose the Turkish state’s ongoing attacks and occupation, which result in the ecocide of Kurdistan’s natural environment. These persistent attacks amount to aggression and violation of Kurdistan’s sovereignty.”

Significant portions of local forests and farms in Duhok province have been destroyed by Turkish bombardments. Media reports have shown Turkish troops logging local forests and transporting trees to Turkey.

A joint statement from the organizations and individuals present at the Sulaymaniyah gathering claimed Turkey’s current military campaign aims to seize control of Mount Haft Tabaq in the Shiladze area, Duhok, and eventually occupy the Mount Gara range. They expressed concern that if this happens, the Kurdistan Regional Government will lose authority over significant parts of its territory in Duhok province.

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