The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has taken official notice of this Turkish military activity that threatens Christian villages in Iraq and Syria, and has condemned it. We continue to hope that this will contribute to an end to these strikes, or at very least a change in the way in which the Turkish government undertakes these rocket strikes, so that Christians and other civilians are no longer targeted.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Iraq, see here.

“Fire rages near Duhok village after Turkish bombardment,” Rudaw, July 6, 2021:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A fire has been raging near a Duhok village as a result of Turkish bombardment on Tuesday morning, a local official has confirmed to Rudaw.

The vicinity of Upper Hazanke, a Christian village in Chamnke subdistrict, has been on fire since 11am, according to Chamanke mayor Aland Amir, who said firefighters cannot visit the site due to security concerns….

Turkey regularly attacks border areas in the Kurdistan Regiion [sic] on the grounds of targeting alleged positions belonging to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). The PKK is an armed group fighting for the increased rights of Kurds in Turkey, but is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara.

A number of civilians have been injured in recent Turkish operations in the Kurdistan Region.

The Turkish army bombarded the vicinity of five populated villages in Duhok province in mid-June, causing a huge fire which scorched thousands of dunams of land.

Captain Fuad Ahmed, head of media for the Duhok’s Forest Police and Environment Directorate, told Rudaw English in May that Turkey had burned 4,181 dunams of land in the province in the first five months of 2021.

Ankara has burned 56,731 dunams of land in Duhok in the past ten years, he added.