The growing human cost of Turkey’s war against the Kurds


Four dead civilians.

250 refugees who have left behind destroyed villages and livestock.

And the constant threat of further chaos as innocent civilians try to continue about their lives.

Residents in Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan are paying the high cost of continued clashes between the PKK and Turkish forces. They have found themselves in the middle of a dual-sided assault on their homes as Turkey continues to aggressively pursue PKK fighters. Sunday’s PKK attack on a military post and a police station in the Turkish city of Şemdinli led to the death of 14 year old Osman Erbaş, and Necdet Güreli, Tayyar Güreli, and Resul Çetin. A Turkish police officer and a soldier were also killed.

Meanwhile, Turkish threats of a ground operation in Iraqi Kurdistan grow more serious. Turkish air strikes against the region have been ongoing since August, resulting in dozens of civilian deaths and the destruction of entire villages. Air strikes over the last three days have pushed hundreds of civilians out of their homes.

Turkey’s prolonged aggression against Kurds in its own country and across the border in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan is merely a continuation of its failed policy of violence of the last 25 years. Along with the Iranian ground operation, Turkish violence has failed to bring an end to violent Kurdish attacks such as Sunday’s PKK bombing, but it has succeeded in displacing hundreds of Kurdish villagers and has cost the lives of dozens of civilians.