Iraqi Children Among Injured, Dead in Shelling of Duhok Resort

At least nine people, including three children, were killed in strikes on a resort in the Zakho District in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on Wednesday, July 20, local media reported.

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said “three girls, one 1-year-old, one 12-year-old, and one 16-year-old” were killed in the attack.

In a statement published on Wednesday, UNICEF said: “This is the devastating proof of the need to stop the use of explosive weapons in populated areas … UNICEF condemns all acts of violence against children and joins the families in mourning the killing of their children and wishes those wounded a fast recovery.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said Turkey was responsible for the attack, saying: “Once again, the Turkish Forces committed an explicit and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, and the lives annd security of Iraqi citizens by targeting a tourist resort in the Governorate of Dohuk.”

Kadhimi continued, “Iraq reserves the full right to respond to these attacks and will take all necessary measures to protects its people and hold the aggressors accountable for the ongoing escalation."

The Turkish foreign ministry released a statement denying responsibility, saying Ankara was "against all kinds of attacks targeting civilians. The statement said, “[Turkey] is ready to take all steps to reveal the truth.”

In April, Turkey’s military launched Operation Claw-Lock, which it said aimed to combat the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

This footage was published by Rudaw. According to the Kurdish outlet, it shows people injured in the attack, including children, at a local hospital. It also shows the transfer of coffins from Dohuk to Erbil Airport, and the loading of an airplane at the airport with the coffins. Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Region, is among people seen carrying the coffin of a child. The bodies were to be flown to Baghdad, Rudaw said.

Kurdistan24 reported that, “Most, if not all of the casualties, were Iraqis who had come from Arab areas of the country to enjoy the more temperate climate in the Kurdistan Region.” Credit: Rudaw via Storyful

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