Defend Kurdistan Initiative denied access to Maxmur and Shengal - UPDATE

Iraqi forces are denying an international delegation access to the Maxmur Refugee Camp in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

A delegation representing the Defend Kurdistan Initiative has left for the Maxmur Refugee Camp as part of their ongoing investigations in the region amidst Turkish occupation attacks that also target civilian settlements.

The delegation was stopped by Iraqi forces in Kirkuk and is denied permission to move on to the Maxmur Camp.

Another group from the Initiative attempted to go to Shengal but was also prevented by Iraqi forces. Both groups have returned from mission upon failure to reach Shengal and Maxmur.



On June 14, an international delegation on behalf of almost 150 politicians, human rights activists, journalists, academics, members of parliament, political activists, ecologists and feminists from all over Europe announced the international initiative “DEFEND KURDISTAN against the Turkish occupation!" in Hewlêr (Erbil). The campaign demands an immediate stop of the Turkish attacks on South Kurdistan and a withdrawal of all Turkish troops and Islamist mercenaries. It is also directed against the collaboration of South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP with Turkish fascism.

The Initiative continues its talks seeking achievement of national unity among Kurdish parties and a common stance against the Turkish state’s ongoing occupation attacks against the region.


An Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SIHA) belonging to the occupant Turkish state bombed the Maxmur Refugee Camp on June 5 amidst its ongoing genocidal attacks against guerrilla-controlled Medya Defense Zones since late April. The attack targeted the school football field.

The camp, located about 60 kilometers southwest of Hewlêr (Erbil), is home to thousands of Kurds who were displaced by Turkey from their lands in North Kurdistan during the notorious 90’s. The camp is officially under the protection of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) but was repeatedly targeted by Turkey, resulting in several civilian casualties.