NEWS CENTER – In the framework of our dossier “Your Silence Kills” about the war crimes of the Turkish occupying state against the Freedom Kurdistan Guerrilla, we have the data of the HPG, which considers in its daily reports data on attacks with chemical weapons and banned bombs within the first six months of the ongoing war, and subsequently deals with the used weapons, chemical weapons, tactical nuclear weapons, thermobaric and phosphorus bombs, as well as the chemical warfare agents that have been and are still being used against the guerrillas.
However, when dealing with the war crimes of the Turkish occupying state, one must also look behind the scenes and perceive who, how, where and when supported and advocated these war crimes of the fascist AKP-MHP regime, in whose name an occupation invasion of southern Kurdistan is currently taking place. For this reason, the fourth part of the dossier deals in more detail with the role of the supporters of these war crimes.
Today’s first part, the fourth part will specifically focus on the role of the KDP (PDK) and the Barzani family, who hold part of the seat of government in the Kurdistan Regional Government in southern Kurdistan.
3.2 POISON GAS AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
3.2.2 PULMONARY AGENTS – GREEN CROSS – GREEN CROSS
3.2.3 YELLOW CROSS MUSTART – YELLOW CROSS – SKIN COMBATANT
MUSTARD GAS- LOST
3.2.4 BLOOD WARFARE AGENT
HYDROGEN CYANIDE – HYDROCYANIC ACID
3.2.5 PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS
3.2.6 OCULAR WARFARE AGENTS – WHITE CROSS/DRINKING GAS
3.4.3 ATOMIC DEMOLITION MUNITIONS (ADM)
4. THE ROLE OF THE SUPPORTERS
4.1 THE ROLE OF THE KDP
Not only during this invasion of the Turkish occupying state that began on April 14, 2022, the KDP and the Barzani family have taken a role that has nothing to do with the feelings of the Welatparêzî or the defense of Kurdish society and its achievements. Already in history, the suspicious attitude of the KDP became clear again and again, especially when it came to fighting revolutionary movements and the advancing struggle for freedom in Kurdistan.
“The KDP was not formed to protect Kurdistan, it was formed to protect the Barzani’s”
Duran Kalkan addressed this scurrilous history in an interview, stating:
- “The KDP in the south provided support on May 14, 1997. Also in the 1992 war, Turkish tanks passed through the border gate of Xabur and surrounded Heftanîn from the south. Now support for the KDP continues in this manner. Turkey has already institutionalized the MIT in all cities from Bamernê to Şêladizê. Guard posts have been built, airports have been built. So they have stationed their military at an important level. They are connected with the KDP. The KDP says, “We don’t give support, we stand in the middle.” But Turkey and the KDP outposts are side by side everywhere. Nowhere is there such a situation that the guerrilla camps and the peshmerga outposts are side by side. The PKK does not have an institution in any city, but the Turkish Republic does. The KDP peshmerga protect MIT buildings and Turkish guard stations, provide their security and fulfill their needs.”
In the course of the current invasion, details were also released that revealed the extent of the Barzani family’s luxury villas, financial investments and properties that they acquired abroad.
The Barzani family, a clan that calls itself Kurdish, but robs the Kurdish society and its goods, sells the land to the occupiers and acts solely according to the interests of its own clan. Duran Kalkan stated in the same interview:
- “It has tied its security to the Turkish Republic and now brings Turkish soldiers from all fronts to the Barzani border. They smuggle oil. A variety of trade relations are maintained. The south of Kurdistan is being robbed on the basis of the AKP-KDP partnership. Especially the people of southern Kurdistan should see this. Intellectuals and politicians in southern Kurdistan need to see this.”
But this is not the only thing, in the war against the Freedom Kurdistan guerrillas, the forces close to the KDP, despite repeated warnings from the PKK, have taken an active role and placed themselves between the war fronts, actively supporting and protecting the Turkish invaders who occupied their land. But not only that. It is actively intervening in the war. On several occasions already, KDP-affiliated forces have attacked the guerrillas with ambushes, captured wounded guerrillas, and carried off the bodies of fallen guerrillas. For months, the families of fallen guerrillas waited at Rojava’s border gates for the bodies of their fallen sons, but the KDP remained silent.
In addition, KDP forces close to Rojava confiscated gas masks that were supposed to be delivered to the guerrillas from Rojava. The autonomous government in Rojava denied this and stated that it had not made such deliveries, but the packages of gas masks destined for the guerrillas left a lasting impression on the Kurdish population after the publication of footage and pictures of guerrillas killed by chemical weapons attacks.
The KDP’s stance also prevents official investigations into chemical weapons use and war crimes from taking place by not allowing delegations into the affected areas, massively intimidating the civilian population, preventing press and journalist workers from doing their jobs as well, and maintaining a sham image itself by not even mentioning war crimes committed by the Turkish occupiers.
Murat Karayilan has repeatedly addressed the issue and stated that the KDP actively supports the war crimes committed by the Turkish occupying forces. In an interview at ANF news agency, he said:
- “Right now, the KDP is supporting them; that is, they are cooperating with the Turkish state. This is not an accusation against the KDP. That is a fact and everybody sees that. But it is also a fact that without the help and cooperation of the KDP and the silence of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Turkish state would not have been able to continue this war for three months with so many weapons. In other words, if the government keeps silent and does not limit itself to keeping silent and closes the area for the press and news agencies to enter and leave, then no one will know about this war anymore and everyone will consider this situation as normal.”
Murat Karayilan, in the same interview, also addressed the KDP’s stance of preventing independent delegations from conducting research on chemical weapons deployments and stated:
- “The Turkish state uses all kinds of chemical weapons, tactical nuclear weapons and thermobaric bombs. These are all prohibited weapons. We want delegations to come and investigate that. The institutions associated with this work say, “If the regional government or Iraq invites us, we will come.” But they don’t invite them. Okay; they don’t invite them themselves, but delegations come independently; they don’t let independent delegations come, they can’t pass Silêmanî. Didn’t Saddam use chemical weapons against our people before, so there weren’t so many massacres? Now a new Saddam has appeared – who is much tougher than Saddam himself and wants to eliminate the Kurds – who uses chemical weapons against us; he uses them in a narrow range and on a scale to affect only certain areas; he uses prohibited weapons in the same way and violates the international law of war. Why are you preventing the delegations? Let them come and see what happened, but they won’t let them.”
The IPPNW delegation, like the delegation led by journalist Steve Sweeny, was prevented from carrying out its investigation into chemical weapons use by the KDP. In a press conference, delegation member Jan von Aken stated:
- “We also wanted to investigate and conduct a report. We wanted to talk to Haci Abdullah, who was a victim of chemical weapons, but the district governor of Amêdiye didn’t allow us and prevented us from investigating.”
This issue was also addressed by British journalist Steve Sweeney, who made several strong statements addressing the role of the KDP (PDK). Sweeney reported on a media report that in October 2021, civilians living near the fighting areas were affected by chemical weapons attacks. 548 people were reportedly injured as a result, suffering from blurred vision, watery eyes, headaches, nosebleeds, and skin rashes. According to Sweeney’s account, those affected were threatened by KDP forces to speak out publicly about the use of chemical weapons. In the testimonies that the journalist recorded during his research in southern Kurdistan, he had to omit the names and identities of the witnesses, explaining that the victims “were threatened by security forces and did so at great risk to their lives”.
This threat scenario was also made clear several times during the testimony, with statements such as:
- “Barzanî. He is helping Turkey. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) will kill us or Turkey will kill us, it’s the same” or statements such as: The doctors were not sure and were afraid because of the PDK. They tell people to keep quiet about the attacks.”
An attending physician was also examined by journalist Sweeney who stated that they were forced to change the medical reports and stated:
- “We said we knew they were chemicals and that’s why we treated them. Our report said that. But then we were told it was a problem, and the people in charge were scared, and we were supposed to change the report and say we had made a mistake. But we hadn’t.”
Journalist Sweeney also states in his report how KDP units prevent people, especially foreign people, from entering chemical weapons-affected areas, stating:
- “I myself was able to enter the affected area and the attacked villages, including Hirure, Kesta Xalke Kanî Masî and Bewarî Bala. It must be emphasized that the areas were under strict control and teeming with both Turkish intelligence and the PDK’s “Parastin” intelligence service. Both cooperate unofficially in the area, and residents report that they are regularly threatened by them. Access is very difficult, and there is a general reluctance to allow foreigners, especially journalists, to enter unless they are on good terms with government officials. This, of course, leads to a distorted view, and these kinds of visits are very strictly controlled. I was told very clearly that I would not be allowed to enter through official channels, that I would be blocked and most likely imprisoned if caught.”
In another interview, Murat Karayilan, a member of the PKK’s Executive Council and commander of the Central Main Command of the People’s Defense Forces (NPG), drew attention to his contradictions with the KDP’s stance, stating:
- “On one side, they fight with Kalashnikovs and bombs, while the other side fights from the air, with techniques and prohibited weapons. If there was a conscience, people would not help them, they are oppressors, they have many means, they are soldiers, they are the occupying state. How can people help them? That is, if it were me, for example, if I were neutral, if I were not from the Kurdish nation, at least I would help those who are fighting with their abilities and will. Is it possible, against us is acted unjustly. If man had a little conscience, a little dignity. This state has all the possibilities. Now they were locked here. If this place is built for Turkish soldiers, it is a bad thing. If the KDP says they are doing this for themselves, the Turkish soldiers go and they take their place, that would be even worse. They go between us.”