On 5th Jun, Turkish drones attacked the UN-protected Makhmour Refugee Camp that is located 180km south of the Turkish border and hosts thousands of Kurdish refugees forcibly displaced from their villages in SE Turkey by the Turkish army in the 1990s.
At least 3 people were reported killed and many injured as a result of the attacks that took place at a very crowded place of the camp.
It was learned that the drones that fired the missiles at the Mahmur Refugee Camp, took off from the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) base in Erbil (Hewler).
On the 1st of June Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey is planning an operation against the camp. He defined the camp as a ‘hole’ of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members.
“If the United Nations does not clean it up, we will do it as a UN member,” Erdogan said on a TV broadcast last week.
The UN which did not respond to the threat of Erdogan previously, warned Turkey after the attack that took place and where 3 people died.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the UN, said that the attack on the Makhmur Camp violated international and humanitarian law. In a statement, she made from her official social media account Greenfield stated that they are ‘deeply concerned’ about the ongoing developments.
“Yesterday, I made clear to Turkish officials that any attack targeting civilians at Makhmour refugee camp would be a violation of international and humanitarian law. I’m deeply concerned about violence near the camp today and call on all sides to respect the rights of refugees.” she said.
A couple of hours after the attack, refugees who live in the Martyr Rüstem Cudi Refugee Camp (Makhmour) took to the streets to protest against Turkey.
Makhmour People’s Assembly co-chair, Hacı Kaçan, spoke on behalf of the group and noted the cooperation of the United Nations, the Iraqi Central Government, and the KDP with Turkey regarding the attacks .
“During this 28-year period of exile, the Turkish state has attacked our free people dozens of times with the support of their ally KDP and NATO forces,” Kaçan said and continued:
“Due to the Turkish state’s policy of destruction and denial, we had to leave our ancestral lands. Since the very first day, we have never taken a step back and we will never step back. Until we defeat the enemy, our resistance will continue until victory. Despite all attacks, the attitude of our people here shows that we will continue to fight against the invaders.”
Makhmour Camp, located approximately 100 kilometers from the city of Hewlêr (Erbil), the capital of the Federated Kurdistan Region, and connected to Mosul province, has been under an embargo since 17th July, 2019.
The United Nations recognised camp, previously called Atrush Camp, holds Kurdish refugees who had to migrate from the border cities, towns and villages in SE Turkey, such as Şırnak and Hakkari after the village burnings and evacuations that took place in 1993-1995.