A 14-year-old boy who was killed in Turkish airstrikes on Shingal (Sinjar), in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, has been laid to rest.
Siviyan Casim was killed as at least 8 airstrikes, which Turkey said targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases, struck the Yazidi homeland on Tuesday morning.
Mother kidnapped by IS
According to Kurdish Roj News agency, the boy’s father and brother joined the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS), affiliated to the PKK, after the Islamic State (IS) kidnapped the boy’s mother in the onslaught on the region in 2014.
Speaking to Roj News, Casim Nasir Hisiyan Qeyrani, the boy’s father reportedly said, “We will not give up on our rights and our land. Siviyan was only a child, but Turkey is targeting all Kurds.”
It is not known whether the boy was staying with his brother and father in a military area when the air raid occurred. Ezidi Press, relaying comments by Casim’s brother, told Kom News that the photo taken of the boy wearing military fatigues was during a YBS meeting and that he had never held a weapon nor been a member of the YBS.
Five peshmerga fighters and a Yazidi member of the YBS were also killed in the strikes.
Peshmerga Ministry Secretary-General: Turkey did not notify us
Turkish officials have said they informed the US, Russia and Kurdistan Region officials ahead of the airstrikes. However Peshmerga Ministry Secretary-General Jabar Yawar on Wednesday dismissed Turkey’s claim saying they had not been notified.
US military officials said Turkey had notified anti-IS coalition forces less than an a hour before the strikes and had not co-ordinated for the attack.
Peshmerga Ministry Spokesman Halgurd Hikmat and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) officials blamed PKK presence for the airstrikes, calling on the group to withdraw from the area.
Kurdish parties condemn airstrikes as violation of sovereignty
Other prominent Kurdish parties and the Iraqi parliament condemned Ankara and called on the UN to take action against violation of sovereignty.
The PKK was credited with saving thousands of Yazidis in 2014, after IS jihadists displaced tens of thousands and kidnapped more than 3,000 women and children.
The group has argued that it has a limited force in the Shingal region and has trained more than a thousand Yazidi fighters from the local population as a self-defence militia.
Turkish officials have said they will not allow Shingal to become a second Qandil, referring to the PKK’s bases in Mount Qandil, and claimed that the group was conducting attacks from there.