Iraqi Christian Villages Emptied by Fear of Turkish Attacks

11/21/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern– Christian and Kurdish villages in northern Iraq continue to fear Turkish bombardment as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. On the evening of November 6, Turkish aerial bombing fell on the Christian village of Father Samir Youssef and another nearby Christian village for the first time in over a year. Turkish offensive in northern Iraq continues to escalate and increase in scope, driving more Christians from their homelands.

According to Father Samir with AsiaNews, for a long time the area “had been spared from the violence,” but today the fear “is tangible”. Continuing on he noted the impact of Turkish attacks saying they “stopped tourism after a phase of recovery and make it difficult to cultivate fields or keep factories open, for fear of being hit”.

The incessant sound of drones overhead, scouting the next target, incites PTSD-like fear for those who remember the 2003 war. The concern that factories, restaurants, hotels, and other landmarks could be targeted by the next bombardment, pushes off tourism and livelihoods, just as places began reopening after the pandemic.  Turkey’s pursuit of the PKK violates the freedoms of Christian and Kurdish villages, unassociated with the terrorist group, and forces them into displacement.