Turkey’s air and ground campaign has been ongoing since late April in the regions of Zap, Metina and Avashin, known as the Medya Defence Zones of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The attacks, which began with troop landings and heavy bombardment, are now being continued with precision strikes.
Reports are coming from the region that local villagers are reacting angrily to Turkey’s operations, stating that their settlements are also being targeted. They have repeatedly called for an end to the operations.
Locals are also protesting against the Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) for remaining silent in the face of Turkey’s activities in the region.
Meanwhile, MA reports that Turkey aims to evacuate these areas and is demanding support from the KDP to do so. The Turkish company Yüksel Holding, which has worked with the KDP and the Barzani family in the region since 1992, has been responsible for establishing military posts in nearly 70 evacuated villages, and opening up “security routes”, and there are claims that Cengiz Holding (a company which is widely known for its strong ties with Turkish president Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, AKP) is responsible for the felling of trees and the building of mass housing developments in their place. It is also reported that 10-15 units of the Zêrewan and Gulan forces, loyal to the Barzanis, provided protection to these companies in the region.
Free Syrian Army members and their families brought from Syria have been placed in settlements in and around the cities of Zaxo, Amediyê and Duhok, the villagers say. Another claim is that there are plans to settle refugees from Afghanistan in these areas.
It is said that there are plans to move nearly 350 refugees aged between 16 and 40 to the area, that they will initially be placed in settlements in Zaxo, Amediyê and Duhok, and that if this plan is successful, it could be extended to the areas of Sulaimaniyah and Halabja, which are dominated by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (YNK).