The Şehîd Rustem Cûdî Camp of Mexmûr city came under a missile attack on 6 December at 18:45 with the local time. According to a statement by the Camp’s Assembly, five people (member of the local self-defence units) has been killed and three wounded.

Accommodating around 12.000 refugees, the Camp has since the 1990s been under the protection of the United Nations (UN). The people who came in had neither a place to settle in no a protector to rely on. On the arid hillside of Mexmûr city, lacking the most basic condition of living, they had to rig up an encampment. Putting a significant amount of labour and dedication, they finally managed to turn the desert situation into a green place distinguishable from its surrounding areas.

The mobilisation level of the population enabled them to turn the Camp into a place they would call home, all the hardships and shortcomings notwithstanding. They established municipality, assembly, commune, education infrastructure, and hospital. In addition to the rest of requirements necessary for the maintenance of life, they took measures to provide for their own safety and security.

It did not take long for the Camp to attract the attention of the Turkish state who has taken every single opportunity to target it for dispersion and annihilation. Until now, however, Turkish authorities have not reached their self-assigned goal. It was the Camp inhabitants who put up a gallant resistance to such a wave of target.

Very lately, in the summer of 2014, the Camp was targeted by the brutal ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) for annihilation. Its inhabitants, supported by the HPG (Kurdish People Defence Forces) and YJA-Star (Kurdish Free Women Union), showed a historic resistance to ultra-conservative jihadists, liquidating them in a short period of time.

The Camp became subject on Wednesday, 6 December, to a missile attack. This is the first time that the Camp is coming under such an aerial assault, which should not be seen as trivial.  After the independence referendum of 25 September in the Kurdistan Region (KRG), the Baghdad government with its Turkish and Iranian counterparts merged into an ominous coalition which involved a number of military drills carried out to threaten the people of Kurdistan.

As part of all this, it has been a long time that the Baghdad government has blocked the Kurdistan Region’s airspace, taking a full control of it. It is clear that the perpetrator of the attack has been hateful of the Camp’s inhabitants. The perpetrator is obviously the Turkish state.

First of all, the Baghdad government is responsible for the provision of the Camp’s security and it has to provide a clear statement explaining how this attack has been launched. Moreover, the Şehîd Rustem Cûdî Camp has been under the supervision, administration and security of the United Nations. Therefore, the latter has to conduct a research on the attack to find out about the truth, and in order to prevent further threats, it should take precautionary measures.

We, as the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), do strongly condemn this attack and call upon the Baghdad government, the United Nations (UN) as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to exhume the facts about the assault and take necessary measures for the provision of the Camp’s security.

Years of experiences have proved that behind these sorts of vicious attacks stand the occupying powers of Kurdistan. Owing to this, the burden of responsibility rests on the shoulders of the KRG to initiate an extensive investigation to find out about the truth. In this critical and sensitive juncture, the foes of Kurdistan, on the one hand, want to unleash provocation among our people subjecting them to further suffering and to deepen the current crisis and, on the other hand, fan the flames of discord and antagonism among the Kurdish population.

In this sensitive time, the KNK urges the people of Kurdistan to stand up for themselves and their homeland, stay alert to the traps being set by the occupiers of Kurdistan, and to stand united among themselves to neutralise our foes’ collusions.

Once again, the KNK does strongly denounce this brutal attack and its perpetrators, extending its condolences to the families of the fallen, the inhabitants of Şehîd Rustem Cûdî Camp, and the people of Kurdistan, and hoping a timely recovery for the wounded.


The Leading Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

7 December 2017