|KHRP Publishes Fact-Finding Mission Report on the Civilian Toll of Cross-Border Operations in Iraq|
Today on the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence, KHRP is pleased to announce the release of its latest fact-finding mission report,
For the past 26 months Turkey and Iran have been engaging in extensive cross-border military operations in northern Iraq, ostensibly with the purpose of fighting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), Kurdish separatist groups seen as threats to their national security. Mounting evidence indicates that far from being isolated cases of belligerence, these two states often work in concert with each other, harmonising their attacks. Despite persistent claims from both governments that these campaigns are only directed at the PKK and PJAK, a claim sustained by the media which largely portrays the air strikes and offences as being directed solely at military targets, multiple KHRP missions to northern Iraq have provided compelling evidence of the significant harm caused to the civilian population by Turkey and Iran’s ongoing operations.
This report builds on KHRP’s report of July 2008, ‘A Fact-Finding Mission in Kurdistan, Iraq: Gaps in the Human Rights Infrastructure’. Drawing on the statements of affected individuals, those providing humanitarian assistance to the affected and the observations of the mission members themselves, this new report details the ways in which these ongoing cross-border operations have detrimentally affected the lives of the inhabitants of the region. The operations have led to loss of life and debilitating injury, loss of livelihood and property, the destruction of traditional village modes of life and the trauma of the affected communities, especially children.