Dozens of villages near the borders between Kurdistan Region and Turkey, as the latter advanced its military operations against Kurdish insurgents over the past year, authorities said.
In remarks on Thursday, Sardar Yahya, Mayor of Duhok’s Sheikhan town said “in addition to significant damage to agricultural lands, the environment, and villages’ infrastructure, the airstrikes have triggered an exodus of people, from villages to urban areas.”
The shelling, according to Yahya, have also caused financial and material damages to villagers, some of whom completely lost their belongings.
Hundreds of villages have been abandoned, over the past decade, in the autonomous Kurdish region due to the ongoing conflict between the PKK and Turkish forces, according to the Statistics of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Civilians in nearby villages often become victims of the clashes between the PKK and Turkish forces, some of which are killed or wounded as a result of ongoing Turkish airstrikes.
In the province of Duhok’s Atrush area alone, over 18 villages have been evacuated lately due to the threat of Turkish warplanes, local authorities stated.