Turkey Destroys Clinic in Northern Iraq, Killing 18 Kurds

Sinjar faces second straight day of Turkish strikes

For the second straight day, Turkish planes carried out attacks on the northern Iraqi city of Sinjar, the home of the nation’s Yazidi minority. The Monday attack hit a vehicle in a marketplace, but Tuesday’s attack destroyed a clinic.

Details are still emerging, and as is so often the case Turkey is trying to spin this as an attack on the banned Kurdish PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist group. Kurdish sources said 18 PKK were killed in the clinic attack.

Sinjar’s Yazidis were very harshly treated by ISIS, and formed a militia aimed at local defense. That militia is reportedly on good terms with the PKK, which is why that faction is active there. This naturally attracts Turkish strikes.

Other than Sinjar, the PKK presence in Iraq is generally in the rural far north, left over from the short-lived ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK, which saw many fighters fleeing over the border pending talks.

Turkey considers the strikes against Iraq to be preemptive against the terrorist group, though Iraq has repeatedly objected to Turkey’s strikes as a sovereignty violation. So far, however, Iraq has proven itself unable to stop the strikes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.