IRAQI KURDISTAN: In the lead-up to the referendum on independence Iranian rockets severely injure a mother of a five-year-old, burn fields and damage houses in Bine Rashkin

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CPTnet
9 October 2017
IRAQI
KURDISTAN: In the lead-up to the referendum on independence Iranian
rockets severely injure a mother of a five-year-old, burn fields and
damage houses in Bine Rashkin

by
Julie Brown

On
23 September, just two days before Iraqi Kurdistan’s scheduled
referendum on independence from Iraq, Iranian military fired rockets
at Bine Rashkin, a village sitting near the Iranian border in the
Sidakan district of Iraqi Kurdistan. Kak Rashad, a CPT partner from a
nearby village called CPT during the shelling saying, “Iran is
dropping bombs everywhere. It is close to the houses and everything
is on fire.”

Four
days later, CPT visited the area with Rashad as our guide. He
explained to us that one woman was badly wounded and in critical
condition in the hospital and offered to take us to her house.

Damaged house from Iranian rocket
House impacted by the explotion of Iranian rocket, CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan

 

When
we arrived at the woman’s home, kak Idris Saadi, a family member,
told us about the bombardment of the 23rd and the the woman’s
condition. She had been home with her five-year-old son when the
attack took place. A shell landed about five meters from her home and
the blast blew out all the windows and sent shrapnel tearing through
the house. The woman was severely injured as shrapnel and glass from
the explosion lodged within her body along one side. Other villagers
fleeing the bombing rushed the woman to a local hospital but they
could not find her five-year-old son. Hours later her son appeared in
a nearby village. Someone had helped evacuate him during the bombing
and he reunited with his family. The woman had to be transferred to
the main hospital in the capital city of Erbil due to the extreme
nature of her injuries. Kak Idris told CPT that she was still in
Erbil in critical condition waiting to find a hospital that could
perform a major surgery to remove the fragments in her spine as well
as an organization that would help cover the medical expenses.

Iranian bombardment
From the day of the Iranian attack, photo by a CPT partner  

 

As
kak Idris was sharing these details, he walked us around the home
that the Iranian rockets targeted. He and other relatives had
repaired the windows and were working hard to fill the hundreds of
holes on the exterior of the house. Mud was covering the walls and
the roof. Kak Idris explained that the shell had landed in the small
stream in the yard. When it exploded it sent mud and earth flying
everywhere. He also said that if it hadn’t been for this small
stream, things would have been much worse.

Villagers
believe that through this attack Iran was sending a message to people
in the region not to vote for independence in the Kurdish referendum.
Iran has been shelling this area for years targeting armed groups and
the vicinity of the villages. However this attack hit the Bine
Rashkin village directly for the first time even though there had
been no recent armed groups activities in the area to warrant a
response from the Iranian military according to the villagers.

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