Turkey fires on Kurdish region of Iraq
The Turkish army has shelled a village in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, security officials and witnesses say.
Local Kurdish security forces and residents, who declined to be named, said that Turkish mortar shells landed on Nezduri village near the town of Zakho, in the northern province of Dohuk on Monday.
The target of the shelling, which did not cause any casualties, was not immediately clear.
Turkish forces in the past have targeted the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in northern Iraq.
The PKK launched an insurgency in southeastern Turkey in 1984 to claim self-rule in the region. The related violence has killed thousands of people from both sides.
In March 2013, the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, declared a historic ceasefire after months of negotiations with the Turkish government. Later in September, however, the PKK put on hold their withdrawal from the Turkish soil and the peace process stopped. They accused the Turkish government of failing to deliver on promised reforms.
Ankara had formally submitted a package of reforms to parliament in December 2013 in an attempt to enhance the rights of the Kurdish community.
The package was rejected by the Kurds. They demanded the release of Kurdish prisoners and political activists, the lifting of restrictions on Kurdish-language education in state schools and reducing the ten-percent election threshold required to secure seats in the 550-seat parliament.
Ocalan issued a statement in April 2014 warning of a possible return to violence.