Turkish drone strikes kill civilians, Iranian insurgents in Iraq (

Turkish airstrikes killed civilians on Saturday, days after another set of airstrikes killed members of a far-left Iranian dissident group in the mountains of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The attacks appear to represent an increase in Ankara’s use of drones and airstrikes against Kurdish groups. Ankara claims these groups, linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are “terrorists” but presents no evidence that any of them are involved in “terror.”In a recent post online the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), which is an Iranian dissident group linked to the PKK, said that two of its fighters had been killed in airstrikes on May 26. Three other supporters of the group were also killed. The two young men were killed north of Sulimaniya near the Iranian border. The Turkish Air Force frequently operates in northern Iraq. In recent months it has carried out airstrikes on a Kurdish refugee camp near Makhmour and struck Yazidi areas near Sinjar, the area of the ISIS genocide against the Yazidi minority. Turkey claims it is “neutralizing” terrorists. Iraq has complained to Ankara about the airstrikes but Ankara acts with impunity and international organizations that usually monitor human rights refuse to critique Turkey or visit the areas of the drone strikes.The drone strike on the PJAK members killed Zinar Brusik and Rebaz Sina, Rudaw media reported. Days later another Turkish airstrike murdered two civilians near the town of Deraluk. This area of picturesque mountains is frequented by Kurds visiting the ancient mountain town of Amedi nearby. One of those killed in the airstrike was said to be a retired Peshmerga or Kurdish soldier.In addition, on Thursday, Iranian border guards also gunned down two Kurdish workers near the town of Khoy on the border between Iran’s West Azerbaijan province and northern Iraq. The men were “kolbars” or porters who haul goods across the border. Many work in an undocumented fashion as smugglers and Iran’s regime routinely shoots them.In northern Iraq’s Kurdish region the inability of Iraq to control its own airspace and the impunity the international community gives to Turkey to carry out drone strikes and to Iran to gun down people on the border has led to numerous deaths in recent months. Turkey’s airstrike on PJAK is unusual but Turkey has sought to work more closely with Iran’s regime against the PKK and groups linked to the PKK. Ankara’s decision to extend its bases in Iraq and airstrikes may be linked not only to its attempt to exterminate the PKK abroad but also to strike PKK affiliates linked to Iran. It may be sharing intelligence with Iran to accomplish this. Last year Turkey invaded eastern Syria, attacking the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is also alleges is linked to the PKK.

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