Oct 24, 2016

Iraqi Turkmen: Bombing near Kirkuk Kills Scores of Civilians

On 21 October 2016, up to 28 women and children from the Iraqi Turkmen community were killed during a bombing campaign launched by Islamic State fighters targeted a religious site in the Daquq district’s residential area, south of Kirkuk. The bombing coincides with the initiation of Islamic State forces’ offensive against Turkmen civilians in the areas in and around Kirkuk. The attack is seen by the community as furthering an attempt to commit genocide against the community.

The article below is courtesy of Turkmen Rescue Foundation

The last events of Kirkuk province in Iraq on Friday, 21 October , 2016 including bombing by unknown aircraft on a Hussainia ( worship place for Shia  )  in the middle of residential neighborhoods in the district of Daquq ( south of Kirkuk) at where  there was gathering of dozens  of women and children were  practicing ceremony  of Muharram  as part of the Shiite worship, ، which left (25) Turkmen women and (3 ) children killed, with dozens injured, in addition to many been missed due to the severity of the crime and the damage to the building. The crime coincided with the entry of Daesh groups to Kirkuk city and launching assaults against families, particularly in the Turkmen areas (including Tes'in, Baghdad road, Domiz, Al Quds, Al Wasti and Wahid Huzairan and other areas) where they killed scores of civilians Turkmen families and burned tens of houses and markets as well as attacking government departments like burning and attacking Kirkuk Education Directorate. 

It is really considered a crime against humanity and massacre, against Turkmen added on past crimes, in Tellafer , Taza, Tuz, Amerli and Qaratappa and other areas, which indicates to Indifference from both  central and local governments toward life of innocents , and the involvement of internal, regional and international actors  in the annihilation of Turkmen, which is an extension of a series of genocide against the Turkmen in Iraq.

Here we would like to raise a lot of question marks about the nature of the crime and the tools used to reach to the aims, including:

1. Daesh deliberately attacked on different vital areas in the center of the province by small number of terrorists as the official information talking about (150) fighters, and it is well known that there are 45000 element in the province of Kirkuk, total security troops from all units, and  according to eyewitnesses, the local policemen and the Peshmerga did not make any reaction but withdrew from their positions and  in an orderly and quiet.

2. The criminal gangs' attacks was on Turkmen areas exclusively, including Tes'in,  Baghdad road, Domiz, Al Quds, Al Wasti and Wahid Huzairan and other areas) and targeted important commercial centers for Turkmen businessmen like "Adel for car Exhibit" where dozens of modern cars been burned and Snubber hotel as well as Royal Mall and the most strange thing that most of these areas are close to the governorate building and security offices where there was no reaction from the security forces there.

3. In spite of the presence of aggregates of Daesh scattered in separate and clear areas of Kirkuk province, the aircraft targeted and hit the PMF troops at Taza Khormatoo and building of "Hussainia"  crowded by  women and children in Daquq district in the center of the city, indicating presence of coordination between terrorist groups and either the aircraft or  the local security institutions that are responsible of giving information for airstrikes to be bombarded. 

So it is very important to focus on and implement the following points, as we consider it essential:

1. It has been proved over 13 years  the failure of  the local and central governments  (and its involvement sometimes) in these serious criminal events and the above evidences suggests the existence of regional and international roots, so there is no option for the people of Kirkuk like the rest of the Turkmen regions, other than to protect and defend their city by themselves and coordination with PMF, at the same time, the political, religious, social and youth leaders in Kirkuk are requested to encourage the people to hold and get weapons and trainings and stay ready for any emergency or deterioration  in the security status as it is expected in the future and it is the responsibility of the leaders to facilitate everything.

2. We will not demand more the Iraqi government to support us, because they do not have any hearing ears for us nor they consider Turkmen as part of its citizens in Iraq.

Photo courtesy of Turkmen Rescue Foundation