Saturday, October 06, 2018

Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch: Turkish airstrikes target Christian villages in Iraq

Turkish airstrikes target Christian villages in Iraq

Turkey is a rogue state that is in no sense an ally of the United States. Turkey should be expelled from NATO, which is configured according to outdated Cold War realities. It needs to be reconfigured in light of the realities of the global jihad.
“Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation,” by Samuel Smith, Christian Post, October 2, 2018:
The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned.
Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq.
“Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is occupying a significant swath of land in northern Iraq and is deepening its presence daily.”
According to ICC, Christian villages in Iraq have historically faced challenges spurred by the PKK and the Kurdish Regional Government. However, the situation for the Christians in largely agricultural northern Iraq has “worsened while the NATO member continues to gain more territorial control in Iraq’s north.”
“Human rights groups have repeatedly warned that Turkey is using the PKK’s general presence as an excuse to expand its territory and that by conducting airstrikes where there is no specific legitimate military target, Turkey is in violation of international law,” ICC asserted in its report.
In September, Human Rights Watch suggested that there were at least four Turkish military operations in northern Iraq that claimed to have targetted the PKK (recognized by the United States as a terrorist group) dating back to May 2017 that should be investigated for possible war crimes.
The PKK has been active in Iraq, with its presence near the border of Turkey, Iran and Syria. The Turkish government has actively launched operations against the PKK for over 10 years.
Turkey’s airstrikes in northern Iraq have killed at least seven non-combatants and wounded at least one more, witnesses and relatives told the human rights group.
“As Turkey steps up operations in Iraq, it should be taking all feasible precautions to avoid harming civilians there,” Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Turkey should investigate possible unlawful strikes that killed civilians, punish those responsible for wrongdoing, and compensate victims’ families.”
Over the weekend, the Turkish military claimed to have “neutralized” at least 18 PKK militants through airstrikes that targeted various regions of northern Iraq.
HWR noted that Turkish forces have extended their presence in northern Iraq by about 10 miles and has multiple outposts in rural governorates under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Concern was raised earlier this year that Turkey-backed violence targeting the Afrin region of Syria was putting the lives of Christians and other civilians in “mortal danger.”
“As the leaders of the Christian churches in North Syria, in the town of Afrin we hereby confirm that we are under attack by Turkey,” an open letter from a pastor (name omitted for security purposes) in the region to international leaders read. “The lives of our women and children are in danger. The city of Afrin is being bombarded by Turkish airstrikes. We are asking for intervention, and protection against the violent attacks which are being levied against use at the moment.”…

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of eighteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (Regnery Publishing) and The Truth About Muhammad (Regnery Publishing). His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS (Bombardier Books).
Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He is a consultant with the Center for Security Policy.
Spencer is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning NewsFox News OpinionNational ReviewThe FederalistThe Hill, the Detroit NewsTownHall.comReal Clear Religion, the Daily Caller, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK’s Guardian, Canada’s National PostMiddle East QuarterlyWorldNet DailyFirst ThingsInsight in the NewsAleteia, and many other journals. For nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has also served as a contributing writer to the Investigative Project on Terrorism and as an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.
Robert Spencer has been a featured speaker at the University of California-Irvine, Temple University, Dartmouth College, Penn State University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Stanford University, New York University, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, State University of New York-Binghamton, State University of New York-Stony Brook, Florida State University, DePaul University, the College of William and Mary, Washington University of St. Louis, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Boise State University, Cal Poly, Portland State University, and many other colleges and universities. He has also addressed the Heritage Foundation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in New York City, the Hudson Institute, the Temple of the Arts in Los Angeles, the San Diego Jewish Book Fair, the Young Presidents’ Organization, Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), FreedomFest, Young America’s Foundation, Hershey’s Sweet Retreat, the John W. Pope Civitas Institute, the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley, Train the Trainer, and many other audiences.