Iraq: Federal army tries to build a wall around the largest civilian camp of the PKK
In Iraqi Kurdistan, the largest civilian camp of the PKK has been surrounded by the Iraqi federal army for twelve days. The Makhmur camp, which is in a disputed area between federal Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish region, is home to 11,000 people who are families of PKK fighters. The Iraqi army is trying to build a wall around the camp to "better control what happens there", but the work is slowed by clashes between the army and some residents.
A PKK fighter stands guard in the town of Makhmur, southwest of Erbil. (Illustrative image) AFP - AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
Text by: RFI Follow
With our special envoy in Erbil, Théo Renaudon
Footage filmed by camp residents shows several hundred protesters throwing stones at Iraqi army tanks. Armored vehicles that protect excavators responsible for laying the foundations of a wall all around homes. Nerguez is 19 years old, she was born in the camp.
« They want to put us in a prison! They want to close the gate of the camp! When we resist them, they fire live ammunition in the air. There is a young person who is injured.... There was an Italian NGO that wanted to come to the camp with doctors, journalists and psychologists, but the Iraqi federal army prevented them from coming. If the Iraqi army insists on building this wall, we will resist. For a few hours, rumors have been talking about tacit meetings between the camp leaders and the Iraqi federal power, so there may be an agreement. But these are rumors.... »
According to the PKK, this operation by the Iraqi army was decided under pressure from Turkey, against the backdrop of the oil agreement and the water war. When contacted, the Iraqi army did not respond to our requests.
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