Turkey strike in northern Iraq kills eight tourists and injures more than 20


Baghdad — Turkish airstrikes killed eight tourists and injured more than 20 in northern Iraq. Iraqi Kurdish officials and Iraqi troops said Wednesday.

At least four missiles attacked a resort in Barak in the Zaho district of a semi-autonomous Kurdish-run area, district mayor Musil Mohammed told The Associated Press. The victims were all Iraqi people.

Hundreds of Iraqi tourists come to the Kurdish region from the south due to the relatively cool weather during peak summer months. Zakho’s tourist destination is a nearby military base established by Turkey.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadimi sent a delegation to an area led by Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and ordered an investigation into the case.

Turkey regularly carried out airstrikes on northern Iraq and dispatched commandos to support attacks targeting elements of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK.

Officials said Wednesday’s attack was the first time tourists were killed in frequent Turkish attacks in the area.

In April, Turkey launched a state-of-the-art attack called Operation Claw Lock in parts of northern Iraq. This is part of a series of cross-border operations launched in 2019 to combat illegal PKKs based in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, the PKK has led a rebellion in southeastern Turkey since 1984, killing tens of thousands.

Ankara pressured Baghdad to eradicate the PKK element from the northern region. Meanwhile, Iraq said Turkey’s ongoing attacks violated its sovereignty.

By Qassim Abdul-zahra

Associated Press