Reports have emerged that four were killed in a Turkish drone strike today. All of them were members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The strikes took place in Sulaimaniya, a province in northern Iraq. The bombing comes as Turkey has been ramping up operations against Kurdish forces in the area.

On Wednesday, Turkish air forces injured numerous people and killed two, one of which was a child, in bombings that were supposed to be targeting Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), which is affiliated with the PKK.

Recently, the existence of the PKK has also been used by Turkey to block Finland and Sweden from joining NATO. Turkey argues that they are concerned about the PKK holding various demonstrations in the two countries.

During recent talks with Greece the issue was also raised as Kurds, that Turkey claims were members of the PKK, were holding protests near the Turkish Embassy in Athens.

Such conflicts are nothing new between the PKK and Turkey. Nearly four decades ago, in 1984, the PKK began armed resistance against the then Kenan Evren’s led military junta. Evren had led a military coup in Turkey in 1980 that led to the banning of the Kurdish language, which some have called a genocide.

Turkey has labeled the PKK a terrorist organization, but they are not the only nation that has done horrible things to the Kurdish people. The Iraqi government, who is allowing the current bombing campaign by Turkey, has also committed violence against the Kurds.

One of the most famous atrocities committed against the Kurds was done by Saddam Hussein. In 1988, Saddam’s military gassed a city full of women and children leading to thousands of deaths, estimates range from 2 to 10 thousand murdered.

It is no wonder then that many have taken arms to protect themselves, this is not to say there have been no acts of violence that have affected civilians by armed Kurdish forces, though it does seem to happen far less.

While there have been some, if only momentary, glimmers of hope for the Kurds, such as when Iraqi Kurds voted at rates of over 90 percent to create an independent Kurdistan in 2017, the Kurdish people have a long way to go to truly breathe free. The 2017 independent Kurdistan was short-lived, however, it did show that the Kurdish people have a deep desire to be free and safe from persecution.

It is hoped that one day the Kurdish people will be able to live freely and foster their culture, free from oppression and violence.

Picture generated by DALL·E mini