IRAQI KURDISTAN: June 2016 Newsletter–Border Bombings


7 July 2016
IRAQI KURDISTAN: June 2016 Newsletter–Border Bombings


Iraqi Kurdistan


Border Bombings

The Kelasheen, the high mountain pastures used in the summer for grazing and farming by the villagers of Zhilya. Photo: Caldwell Manners

Sidakan, Caught on the Border

Latif Hars and Caldwell Manners

Sidakan, a sub-district along the borders of Turkey and Iran, has recently come under heavy Turkish bombing. Villagers now have to navigate precariously between invisible lines of armed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)- controlled areas, which tend to be at higher risk, and high pasture grazing land, the Kelasheen, where their families camp all summer with their animals.  On the eastern border, Iran has begun shelling the area, displacing and injuring people.

Sidakan is the largest sub-district in Iraq and the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq (Kurdistan Regional Government – KRG). This rugged mountainous region shares a border with Turkey on the north and Iran on the east.

CPT began it’s work in the area a few years ago when Turkey and Iran were bombing and shelling the highlands, prior to the failed peace talks of 2015, between Turkey and the (PKK).

Turkey began bombing the area in the mid-nineties when the PKK moved their operations from the cities of southeast Turkey to the eastern mountains of the KRG, including Sidakan. The villagers who farm and graze their animals in these mountainous pastures continue to be victims of the cross border attacks as reported by the team in their 2012 report, “Disrupted lives” and most recently in neighbouring Zergaly.

Read the full article here

Long time CPT partner, Kak Bapir from the village of Baste, shows the team footage of grazing and agricultural land prone to aerial Turkish strikes. On June 27th warplanes stuck 200 meters from his home shattering the glass of village homes and burning surrounding grazing land. Photo: Caldwell Manners

سیدەکان لە ژێر پاڵەپەستۆی ململانێکانی سنوردا

لەتیف حارس

لە ناوەڕاستی ئەم مانگەدا رێکخراوەکەمان، گەشتێکی ساز کرد بە مەبەستی  بەسەرکردنەوە و لە نزیکەوە ئاگادار بوون لە بارودۆخی ناوچە بۆمباران کراوەکانی نا‌‌‌‌حیەی سیدەکان لەلایەن دەوڵەتی تورکیاوە.  گەشتەکەمان دەستی پێکرد بە کۆبوونەوە لەگەڵ بەڕێوەبەری ناحیەکە، بەڕێزیان باسی هەڵکەوتەی جوگرافیای ناوچەکەی بۆ کردین و گوتی ”سیدەکان گەورەترین ناحیەیە لەسەر ئاستی عێراق و ناوچەیەکی گرنگی گەشتیارییشە، بەڵام تاوەکو ئێستا نەتوانراوە تەواوی گوندەکانی ئاوەدان بکرێنەوە کە ژمارەیان دەگاتە ١٠٠ گوند. هۆکاری ئاوەدان نەکردنەوەی گوندەکانیش دەگەڕێتەوە بۆ کاولکاریەکانی رژێمی سەدام و شەڕی بەردەوامی پەکەکە و تورکیا و ئێران و پارتەکانی تری ڕۆژهەڵاتی کوردستان”.  درێژەیدا بە قسەکانی و گووتی ” ئەوە جاری یەکەم نیە تورکیا ئەو دەڤەرە بۆمباران دەکات، بۆمبارانەکانیش گوندنیشینەکانی ناچار کردووە ماڵ و ڕەز و گوندەکانیان بەجێبهێلن لەدوای خۆیان”.  

ئیمە پرسیارمان کرد  دەربارەی پلان و یارمەتیەکانی ‌‌حکومەتی هەرێمی کوردستان كرد بۆ ئەو خەڵكەی کە زەرەرو زیانیان پێگەیشتووە بەهۆی بۆمبارانەکەوە. بەڕێوەبەری ناحیەیەکەش لە وەڵام دا گوتی ”بەهۆی قەیرانی  دارایی هەرێمەوە ئێمە ناتونین وەکو پێویست بەهانای گوندنشینانەوە بچین، بەڵام کەمپێکمان هەیە کە پێشتر بۆهەمان مەبەست  دروستکراوە بۆ ئەوەی تێیدا نیشتەجێ ببن لەکاتی هەر ڕووداوێکی نەخوازراودا و بڕیاری وەستاندنی شەڕەکەش لە دەستی ئیمەدا نیە”.

تەواوی گووتارەکەی لێرە بخوێنەوە.


Recommended Reading


Kurdish residents of Cizre returning to their destroyed neighborhood on March 3. Photo: Moises Saman, for The New York Times

Behind the Barricades of Turkey’s Hidden War

Robert F. Worth, New York Times Magazine
A simmering conflict with the Kurds threatens to consume an American ally and inflame an already unstable region. 

Read the full article here



Judy Dasilva speaks at the River Run in front of the Ontario Legislative Assembly in Toronto. Photo: Kathy Thiessen

Dear Settlers

Rezhiar Fakhir

It has not been very long since I visited the land of the Indigenous peoples. I wanted to write this short reflection to contemplate my trip to Canada. I acknowledge that it took me a very long time to write this. That was for two reasons. First, I come from a place where we have suffered from different conflicts, not just over decades but over centuries. I thought it would not be a good idea for me to write a judgment of Canadian society when we are deeply impacted by war in our own region. Second, North American history is very complicated for me even though some have told me it is very simple: the settlers came and destroyed the life of the Indigenous peoples – the story is as simple as that. Even after my first visit to Grassy Narrows, an indigenous reserve, I was not courageous enough to write this reflection. But I made a pledge to my indigenous friends that I would write about their struggle even though I am not Canadian. 

Read Rezhiar’s full reflection here


Saying Goodbye

Chihchun Yuan

Her spirit of generosity and kindness, and her sharp observation skills will be missed. In the three months she spent with us she led a delegation and took on the task of running the office. She will continue her service as a reservist. 

Lukasz Firla

Lukasz is a popular man in the area. Known for his dreadlocks and warm smile. His passion and love for this region exuberates out of him. After five years, full-time on team, he will begin his new role as the project support coordinator. 


Join our next delegation, September 10-23. Click here to find out more.


We need your support to continue doing this work. Please consider donating to us cover: 
$5 – Food for a CPTer for one day
$50 – Day trip to a village
$500 – Support for a local delegation participant










Mission: Christian Peacemaker Teams: Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.
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Values: Christian Peacemaker Teams is committed to work and relationships that: Honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality; Strengthen grassroots initiatives; Transform structures of domination and oppression; Embody creative non-violence and liberating love.


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