A number of Kurdish intellectuals and individuals in Iraqi Kurdistan have condemned Turkey's new ground and air campaign in the region.
Dr. Kamîran Berwarî, a Kurdish politician and academic at Duhok University, has noted that Turkey has been preparing for the recent military campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan. “NATO and the US supports Turkey in these operations. This region extends to a length of 100 km. They have been planning this operation for a long time”, he said.
Berwarî added: “Turkey wants to occupy the region from the Berwari line to the Doski line to disconnect the guerrillas, but the current status of the operation shows that the Turkish army is militarily defeated by the guerrillas”.
Regarding the attitude of the Kurdish people in Iraqi Kurdistan, he stated: “The people of South [Kurdistan] accept the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) model and support the guerrillas”.
Kurdish artist Casimî Saz appealed to Kurdish intellectuals and artists to take a stand against the Turkish military campaign. “The pioneers of the peoples have always been the poets, intellectuals, authors and artists. If they remain silent, how can the people raise their voices?”, he asked.
Bestun Muhammed, a former peshmerga fighter, who fought against the Baath regime as part of the peshmerga forces known as the “Dêrin Peshmerga”, also criticised the nature of the ongoing Turkish military campaign.
“The ruling party of Bashur [South/Iraqi] Kurdistan calls for the Turkish occupation forces over here. But Turkish army soldiers attack the people in the region”, Muhammed said.
Kurdish residents of Silemani have also spoken out about the censorship they face when seeking to share their views regarding Turkey’s ongoing military operation.
Helgurd Eli appealed to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the regional parliament to take a stance against Turkey. Sebiriye Reşîd stated that the occupation in Iraqi Kurdistan represents a danger and threat for “all the four parts of Kurdistan”.
Reşid stated: “Silence is dangerous. The Kurdistan Regional Government, the left parties and the Kurdish people should unite as one voice and stand against the occupation”.