Prayers for Peacemakers – May 10, 2021 – Iraqi Kurdistan

"We need help. We just got some small help from one organization, but we have no tents and no place to sleep."
Men sitting in a circle in the shade in front of a shop. Children stand around, vehicle in the background
CPT-IK meeting with residents of Hrure

Please pray for one hundred Christian and Muslim families who fled their homes this past week because of Turkish bombardments and soldiers invading their lands. Pray that organizations provide help for the families forcefully displaced. And pray that the Turkish invasion ends that people may return home. 

Turkish special forces invaded Iraqi Kurdistan territory in late April and began to build bases and outposts on Zineri Kesta, the highest mountain in the region near Kani Masi. Approximately 600 people in three villages Kesta, Hrure, and Chalke, located in this region, live by farming and grazing animals on the side of the mountain. 

On May 3, the CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan team visited the villages where Christian and Muslim families live together side by side. CPT members saw many burned orchards and fields, and some were still burning during the visit. The village elders and leaders told the team about their fear every night when the bombs exploded. Each explosion kept getting closer to their villages. Families fear the helicopters they see shooting at their fields and the soldiers deployed to invade their territory. 

A village leader from Hrure told the team, “The children run to hide in their homes when they hear the sound of drones and helicopters.” On the way to the village, CPT members could hear the buzzing sound of a drone overhead. 

In the days following the team’s visit, the Turkish special forces’ invasion progressed, and the bombardments reached the villages. When the shrapnels began to pierce village homes, all 32 families from Kesta and about half of the 50 families from Hrure fled their homes. Some families escaped to stay with their relatives; some fled to the nearby village of Chalke. Another 45 families then had to flee Chalke when Turkish artillery began targetting the village.

The Turkish military assault has, as of now, forcefully displaced nearly 500 people. Families from the impacted villages told CPT over the phone: “We need help. We just got some small help from one organization, but we have no tents and no place to sleep.”

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