Parliamentarians visit Metina for investigation amid Turkish operation

A delegation of members of the Iraqi parliament and the South Kurdistan Regional Parliament has highlighted the destruction caused by the Turkish army's cross-border operation following investigations in the Metina region.

South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP blames the HPG for the Turkish army's occupation attacks on South Kurdistan and the death of peshmerga fighters in an explosion on June 5. HPG denied this claim and called for an independent investigation into the incident.

In response, a delegation of members of the Iraqi parliament and the South Kurdistan Regional Parliament has visited villages in the Metina region for an investigation. The delegation included the chairman of the Iraqi parliament's defense and security committee and seven other deputies, as well as 12 members of the South Kurdistan parliamentary committees for peshmerga, interior, security, agriculture, environment and health.

The delegation issued a statement after the on-site investigation. On behalf of the delegation, Kurdistan parliament member Reving Hirorî, who is also chairman of the peshmerga committee, said that talks had been held with the governor of Duhok as well as with leading figures, village heads and residents of the Derkar and Batîfa areas. The delegation then traveled on to the villages of Kêste, Hiror and Çelka in the Amadiya town for talks with residents. The last meeting was with the head of the Kanimasi town and mukhtars.

Hirorî explained that many villages were evacuated due to the Turkish invasion. "People had to leave everything behind and flee. Their gardens and fruit trees have been burned and damaged. The war and clashes have caused great damage to the lands of Kurdistan. The mental state of the people in the region has been negatively affected because of their experiences."

"The war has only brought destruction" said Hirorî and referred to dialogue for a solution. Regarding the establishment of Turkish military bases in South Kurdistan, Hirorî said, "We do not find the presence of a military force other than the security forces of Iraq and South Kurdistan in this region to be right. Like all members of this delegation, I want peace so that the people of the region can live in peace. People want to live in peace in their own villages, in their homes. I assume that all parties in Kurdistan share this view. Everyone considers it a war crime and protests against it."

Hirorî announced that the investigation report would be presented to the delegation of the South Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi central government.

On 5 June, a convoy of dozens of vehicles carrying KDP forces tried to advance towards the guerrilla posts in Metina. The Turkish state was attacking the area trying to occupy it and clashes were taking place. When the convoy approached, a violent explosion occurred.

The HPG made a statement regarding the explosion in which 5 KDP members lost their lives and said that no weapon so powerful to destroy an armoured vehicle was used by the guerrilla forces.

The HPG said: “What caused the explosion of this vehicle is an issue that needs to be investigated. We, as HPG, consider it necessary for either a joint commission or an independent delegation to investigate and clarify this incident."

According to experts, images of the hit armoured vehicle indicate that the attack was carried out from the air.