Heavy security presence in Shiladze for protest against Turkish airstrikes

Following death of four civilians Friday
Residents in Shiladze sub-district protest on Saturday June 20, 2020 (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Residents in Duhok’s Shiladze district protested on Saturday (June 20) against the recent Turkish airstrikes on the Kurdistan Region, which killed four people from the area on Friday.

NRT reporter Tayif Goran said that there was a large number of security forces deployed around the bazaar where the protest was being held and that there had been at least one scuffle between demonstrators and police.

Later, protesters sent video to NRT apparently showing some people throwing stones in the direction of the local office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is the dominant political party in that section of the Kurdistan Region.

The town was the site of a deadly protest in January 2019, when demonstrators stormed a Turkish military camp nearby, burning tents and vehicles. That protest had also been prompted by Turkish airstrikes that killed several civilians from the area.

The KDP released a statement earlier on Saturday blaming the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for precipitating Turkey’s military operations.

Starting on Monday, Turkey launched a series of airstrikes on targets in the Kurdistan Region and northern Iraq, including the PKK’s headquarters in Qandil and others near displacement camps in Makhmour and Mount Sinjar. It has continued daily airstrikes since then and engaged in ground operations in northern Duhok governorate on Wednesday.

In addition to the four civilians killed on Friday, a shepherd was killed late on Wednesday night in northern Erbil governorate.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the KDP have extensive political and economic ties with Turkey, leading to criticism that their responses have been tempered by those links, despite the violations of sovereignty and the deaths of civilians.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 7:12 p.m. EBL

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and outdoor
Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and outdoor