Peacemakers, 7 December 2017
Thanksgiving for the
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan’s partner – Baste community – who celebrate a new
connection to electrical grid after many years of struggle and
life under cross-border bombardments. Prayer for the families who had
to flee their village Gullala after Turkish warplanes bombarded them
for the fifth time in the last month.
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team celebrates with its long-term partners, community of Baste, and leaders of nearby communities, that Baste has finally gotten connected to the electrical grid. This connection is what the people of Baste, a well-known ancient “Peace village”, enduring for three decades under the shadows of Turkish and Iranian bombs and rockets, have struggled for for many years. Please read more about this great achievement here.
However, not only good news come from Iraqi Kurdistan. On 12 November, a
7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Kurdistan on both sides of the Iraq/Iran
border, killing more than 700 people and wounding thousands. At the
time of the earth trembling, Turkish warplanes were firing rockets on
the mountain village of Gullala, located about 35 miles north-east of
Suleimani. This is the nearest Turkish attack that CPT has ever
recorded. And a first ever bombing in this area. Since the Iraqi
crackdown on Kurdistan autonomy, the Turkish airstrikes have intensified and expanded to new regions much farther from the border. The fighter jets bombed the vicinity of
Gullala five times since the beginning of November.
bombing was the heaviest and also the nearest to the village homes. The resident families fled their
village, some to Suleimani, others to places around Mawat district. CPT met
with several of the displaced families yesterday. They told CPT “We saw the bombs falling
down from the sky. They were very big and looked heavy. Some of them
exploded in the air and when they did, we smelled a strange smell”. One family was
staying in an unfinished house about half an hour away from Gullala.
The family has no other place to go as it is too dangerous
to enter the village. When CPT arrived, the family was sitting around a small
fire with two children. Their words were heavy, “We were very frightened when we heard and saw the bombs coming
down. We waited for the snowfall
this winter, not bombs”.
One of the displaced
villagers told CPT, “Because there is no guarantee to prevent the
bombings from happening again we left our village to save our lives.
We do not have hope that Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi
Government can stop the bombings, international community is silent
Let us not stay
silent. Let us raise our voices and scream out loud and clear. To God, to
the powers that be, to the various governmental officials and representatives.
Let us pray for the Kurdish families of Gullala and millions of
others who had to flee their homes and communities to save their lives. Let
us strive together in love and solidarity towards a sustainable world where “everyone can sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, without anyone to make them afraid“. (Micah 4: 4)
Please, carry in your thoughts and prayers the Iraqi Kurdistan team and our future during these difficult times.