In less than a month, dozens of Christian families at the Iraq-Turkey border region were displaced and 10 churches had to be closed, due to Turkey’s military incursion.
Turkey’s air and ground operations started mid-June 2020 as Turkish forces penetrated Iraqi territory in Duhok Province and clashes started with PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party).
Manal Toma, commissioner of the Christian village Sharansh in Duhok, said “It has been 10 days since we left our village. We don’t know what to do, we have lost a lot. Hundreds of my fruit trees will be left without being cared for.”
If the situation remains so dire, greater catastrophe is to be expected
Toma added: “Four Christian villages in our area have been completely evacuated, and there exists risk for others to be evacuated as well. If the situation remains so dire, greater catastrophe is to be expected.”
Due to Turkey’s military operations and its conflict with the PKK, more than 80 families from villages in the border region have been displaced to Duhok city and the town of Zakho.”
The Christians from that region fear for their lives and their livelihood, which mainly comes from agriculture. Toma said: “We haven’t watered our plants and trees for 10 days now, they are about to die out. That’s why we ask the international community to help us.”
THe Iraqi government has officially demanded from Turkey to halt its operations, but the latter is adamant in continuing the war, claiming it is for maintaining its national security and removing threats from its border areas.
As for the government of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, in a statement, it has asked Turkey and the PKK to take the conflict out of the territories of the Kurdistan Region.