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Gulan-media - Turkish army sets up 2 outposts overlooking Duhok village
Turkish army sets up 2 outposts overlooking Duhok village
Date: 03/05/2021 : 14:37:57107 Views

KESTA, Kurdistan Region — The village of Kesta is nestled between mountains in northern Duhok province. It is home to farmers and beekeepers. But the peaceful spot is now a battlefield. The Turkish army has set up two outposts on hills overlooking the village, part of their campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Nightly airstrikes have forced some villagers to flee and farmers cannot access their fields.

“We can’t go out of our village. There are airstrikes every night. It doesn’t end,” said Saeed Taha, a Peshmerga who lives in Kesta.

In late April, Turkey launched Operations Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt against the PKK in the Metina and Avashin areas of northern Duhok, near the border. A goal of the operation is to establish a military base to block PKK movements between its bases in the Kurdistan Region and Turkey and Syria.

As their forces advance, the Turkish army set up two outposts in Zinare Kesta, the mountainous areas around the village. One post is to the west, on Mila Rade, and the other is on Tahta Nasaba, less than two kilometres from the village.

The Turkish army set up a third outpost nearby on Monday, near the village of Hiror, according to Rudaw's Nasir Ali.

“Our condition is worsening day-by-day because the Turks and the PKK are coming closer every day. This may result in the destruction of the village,” said Mahmood Hussein, the mukhtar (chief) of Kesta.

“We request the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] to find a solution for us. People live in danger, including children, women, and the elderly,” he added.

Kesta is home to 20 families. Some villagers have already left. Saeed Rashid sent his family to Duhok. He alone has stayed behind, to take care of his farm, but he can’t go into the field because of the airstrikes.

“Our situation has worsened a lot. We have farmlands near the village, but we can’t go and water them. We should have watered them three to four times, but we couldn’t,” he said.

According to the International Crisis Group, 55 people have been killed in the Turkey-PKK conflict in the Kurdistan Region so far this year – 19 Turkish soldiers, 34 PKK fighters, and two civilians.

Translation and video editing by Sarkawt Mohammed


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