MP Şahan Eskeri: The PKK is only a pretext for Turkish occupation

South Kurdistan MP Şahan Eskeri visited the region under attack by Turkey with a parliamentary commission of inquiry and said, "The PKK is just a pretext for Turkish occupation."

South Kurdistan Parliament member Şahan Eskeri, as a member of the joint parliamentary commission of inquiry from Hewlêr (Erbil) and Baghdad, stated that the troop carrier in which five peshmerga were killed in Metina on June 5 had been removed before the parliamentary group arrived and could not be inspected.

The commission visited villages and communities in Metina on June 8 and 9 for investigations. The trip was prompted by the unexplained explosion of an armored van belonging to KDP units in the guerrilla area, for which the Turkish state, the KDP and the German consulate in Hewlêr hold the PKK responsible. The HPG denied involvement and called for an independent investigation. A representative of the Peshmerga Ministry had also stated that it must have been the attack of an F-16 bomber or an armed drone. On June 8, another peshmerga was killed in Derkar under unexplained circumstances; the PKK has also denied involvement in this incident.

MP Şayan Eskeri has now published the results of the investigation by the parliamentary commission. Commenting on the death of the peshmerga fighter in Derkar, Eskeri said, "He fell in the immediate vicinity of his base. There is no guerrilla presence anywhere in the area." The troop carrier attacked on June 5 was removed a day before they arrived, she said, although authorities were aware of the planned investigation.

Eskeri explained her impressions of the environmental destruction in the wake of the Turkish invasion, pointing to the forest fires that have been ignited and the systematic cutting down of trees; "Unfortunately, we were not able to go to the villages in the border area because airstrikes continue to take place and people have had to leave their villages because of this. The inhabitants of the region have told us that the Turkish state is clearing their forests and taking the wood to Turkey. The forest areas of sixty villages are affected.

As a commission, we have come to the following conclusion: Turkey is using the PKK as a pretext to bomb and occupy the region, exploit natural resources and kill civilian citizens. This is confirmed by the fact that houses of peshmerga and civilians in their gardens and fields are also bombed."

According to Eskeri, the commission is calling for an increased presence of Iraqi border guards in the region, saying, "There are only three battalions along the 384-kilometer border. The members of the commission from the Iraqi parliament have promised to raise this issue with the Iraqi government. In addition, however, international public opinion must also oppose the invasion by the Turkish state and stop the occupation."