ASIA/IRAQ - Christian village bombed by the Turkish army; the condemnation of the Chaldean Patriarchate

Monday, 18 January 2016 area crisis

Dohuk (Agenzia Fides) - Between 16-17 January Turkish troops bombed the Iraqi village of Sharanish, located on the border with Turkey, in the governorate of Dohuk, inhabited by Christians, Chaldeans and Assyrians. The bombings spread panic among the population, forced to flee to the city of Zakho during the night, with weather conditions characterized by snow and bitter cold. The news was given by the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, and through its official channels strongly condemned the Turkish military action, calling it "totally unjustified" and also launching an appeal to the Iraqi Kurdistan autonomous government to take "the necessary measures to defend its citizens". The attack - says the statement released by the Patriarchate and sent to Agenzia Fides - was carried out "under the pretext of the fight against the positions of the Kurdish PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, Kurdistan Workers' Party).
In the eighties, the town was completely devastated during the military campaigns carried out by the Iraqi army against the Kurds. After the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime,a part of the original Christian population had returned to live in the village, also to escape the anti-Christian violence which was more frequent in the urban areas of Baghdad and Mosul. The village is also home to dozens of Christian families who in 2014 fled from the Nineveh plain before the advance of the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh).
Already last August, Sharanish and other villages of the Qandil mountains inhabited by Christians had been the targets of air raids during the military operations carried out in that area by the Turkey army against the Kurdish PKK. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2016)