Turkish Strike Kills 3 Yazidi Militiamen in Northern Iraq, Local Officials Say

A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug. 14, 2019, in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa, southeastern Türkiye. (AFP via Getty Images)
A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug. 14, 2019, in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa, southeastern Türkiye. (AFP via Getty Images)
TT

Turkish Strike Kills 3 Yazidi Militiamen in Northern Iraq, Local Officials Say

A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug. 14, 2019, in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa, southeastern Türkiye. (AFP via Getty Images)
A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug. 14, 2019, in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa, southeastern Türkiye. (AFP via Getty Images)

A Turkish strike in northern Iraq killed three Yazidi militiamen and wounded three others on Tuesday, regional officials said. A local official affiliated with the militia disputed that account, saying none of its fighters were killed, but that a shepherd died in the Turkish drone strike.

According to the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish regional government, the early morning strike in the district of Sinjar targeted a headquarters of the Shingal Resistance Units, or YBS, in the village of Chumu-Khalaf.

An official with the central government in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strike had targeted a meeting of high-ranking YBS officials.

Naif Shemo, head of the Sinjar Yazidi council, told The Associated Press that the area targeted by Turkish drones was an abandoned Yazidi village where most of the houses had been previously destroyed by the militant ISIS group.

The YBS, made up of mostly minority Yazidis, was instrumental in driving ISIS from Sinjar after the collapse of the Iraqi army and withdrawal of the semi-autonomous Kurdish forces in 2014. The ISIS extremists’ takeover of Sinjar killed and captured about 10,000 Yazidis in attacks that the United Nations classified as genocide.

Tuesday's attack was the second such strike in just over a week. A similar strike earlier this month killed three Yazidi militiamen, the Iraqi-Kurdish authorities said. Also at that time, a local official affiliated with the YBS denied any deaths.

The Turkish Defense Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.  

On Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the Turkish military had “neutralized 126 terrorists” in the past month, according to Türkiye's state-owned broadcaster TRT.

The group has been a frequent target of Turkish attacks in recent years for its ties to the insurgent Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, a separatist movement banned in Türkiye.

Continued violence in Sinjar has stunted beleaguered efforts to return Yazidis to their ancestral homeland in the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq after years of displacement.

Clashes last year between the Yazidi militia and the Iraqi army in heavily populated areas of war-scarred Sinjar caused as many as 10,000 people to flee the area, many of whom had returned from previous displacement, according to Kurdish officials.



13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
TT

13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

At least 13 people were killed in three Israeli airstrikes that hit refugee camps in central Gaza overnight into Saturday, according to Palestinians health officials.

Among the dead in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and Bureij Refugee Camp were three children and one woman, according to Palestinian ambulance teams that transported the bodies to the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

The 13 corpses were counted by AP journalists at the hospital.

The latest casualties follow a rare moment of hope in war ravaged Gaza, after a medical teams recovered a live baby from a heavily pregnant Palestinian mother killed in an airstrike that hit her home in Nuseirat late Thursday evening.

Heavily pregnant Ola al-Kurd, 25, was killed along with six others in the blast, but was quickly rushed by emergency workers to Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza in the hope of saving the unborn child. Hours later, doctors told The Associated Press that a baby boy had been delivered.

The still-unnamed newborn is stable but has suffered from a shortage of oxygen and has been placed in an incubator, said Dr. Khalil Dajran. The baby boy's father was wounded in the same strike, but survived.

At least 38,919 Palestinians have been killed and 89,622 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.