Between eight and 10 civilians, including three children, were killed and up to 45 others, including four women and two children, were injured in alleged Turkish bombing of the village of Parkh on July 20, 2022.
According to BasNews, five tourists were killed and 15 others were injured by Turkish shelling of a summer resort outside Zakho, adding that the death toll was expected to rise as several of the injured victims were in critical condition. BasNews later updated their numbers to eight tourists killed and 23 others injured, and that the injured included women and children, some of them in critical condition.
A Facebook post from ShakwMakw reported that “Abbas Al-Awadi” from Baghdad was one of the victims killed in the bombing. He got married 5 days before and was on his honeymoon in Zakho. Additionally, Al-Awadi “graduated last year from the university and was recently accepted to study a master’s degree in engineering”.
Al Rabiaa TV posted on Facebook that Ali Sabah al-Jubouri from Tuwairej district was among the civilians killed. Sulaymaniyah Eye added the name of Abbas Muhammad Jawad Abdullah, a student of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Warith Al-Anbiya, who died from his wounds. Baghdad 1 identified Taha Abdel-Zahra from Orfali as one of the people killed – Taha was married two years ago and father of two children, graduated this year.
Rudaw News provided a list of nine names of civilians killed: Saji Mahmoud Jassim 24 years old – Baghdad, Ali Sabah Ismaiel 43 years old – Baghdad, Abbas Alaa Abdel Hussein 30 years old – Baghdad, Zahraa Kheiri Muhammad 1 year old – Baghdad, Sarah Qais Ali 12 years old – Baghdad, Zahra Qais Ali 16 years old – Baghdad, Taha Abdul Rahman Niema 25 years old – Baghdad, Hassan Abdul Ameer 55 years old – Kerbla, Abbas Mohammed Jawad – Kerbla.
Tahseen Ali, 30, from Babil Province, who said he was standing about 20 meters from one of the strikes, which wounded his brother and sister, told the New York Times “It was chaos — tourists’ hands and legs were detached from their bodies.” Tahseen’s sister Ban al-Humnrani, 42, who is a U.S. citizen and was visiting from Sacramento, California, said that “We are used to hearing sounds of war, but I have never seen a horrific scene like this.” Ms. al-Humnrani suffered a leg wound.
Mustafa Alaa, 24, who was at the resort with a friend when the attack occurred, told Reuters “We go towards the mountainside, there are strikes. We go towards the waterfall, there are strikes. We go towards this side, there are strikes. We pulled up the fence that was around the waterfall. We looked from inside, I saw children lying on the ground. … It’s a scene that I’ve never seen in my life.”
Worood Abbas, a 40 year old from Karbala governorate, who was on holiday in Zakho with her family, reported that her husband, Sabah, had been killed in this attack. She told the Middle East Eye, “I lost my husband, he was everything for me… we came for pleasure but it turned into a funeral.” She also said, “Can words send back my killed husband? Can speech heal my son’s injury? Of course not.” Her ten year old son and 13 year old daughter were wounded in the attack.
The Washington Post reported that in an interview broadcast by the Kurdish television network Rudaw, an eyewitness visiting from the capital, Baghdad, said tendrils of smoke had been visible farther up the mountain from the window of his tourist bus as he arrived in Barakh. “We asked our tour guide, but they said it was normal,” he said. About 15 minutes later, four or five strikes landed amid the gathered families, he said. A young boy’s hand was severed. An old man lost two daughters.
Dilsher Abdulsattar, head of the local administration of Darkar, confirmed the casualties to BasNews and said the shelling had targeted a touristic site in Parkh village, with unconfirmed reports saying that the victims were Arab tourists from central and southern provinces of Iraq. Rudaw News specified that the tourists were part of a 200-person tourism group from Baghdad.
Hawar News reported that 10 people were killed and 20 people were injured in the bombing. A Facebook post by “Erbil my city” also put the number of civilians killed at 10 and added that 45 others were injured. The New York Times reported that the dead and wounded were evacuated to Bedar General Hospital in the city of Zakho.
Kurdistan24 identified the location of the Parkh resort site as close to Sharanish waterfall in the Zakho Independent Administration’s northeast. The Washington Post described the scene before the strikes as “families had been gathered by a pool, taking a dip or resting in the dappled shade.”
Zakho mayor Muhsin Bashir claimed that “members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were roaming the village, which led Turkey to bombard it.”
Vian Dakhil, the official speaker for the Kurdistan Democratic Party bloc in the Iraqi parliament issued a statement that “9 civilians were killed and 33 others were injured” and blamed the Turkish government for the bombing and the federal government for “failing to preserve the lives of its citizens and the sovereignty of its lands”.
Rudaw reported that following the incident, the Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi sent a a security delegation and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to Duhok to investigate what happened. The Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi called on the Iraqi government to the take necessary measures to investigate the Duhok bombardment. The Iraqi prime minister media office also released a statement that “the Turkish Forces committed an explicit and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, and the lives and security of Iraqi citizens by targeting a tourist resort in the Governorate of Dohuk in the Kurdistan region of Iraq”, adding that the attack “led to the deaths and injuries of civilians, most of whom are women and children”.
Turkey’s foreign ministry released a statement that Turkey was saddened to hear about the casualties from the attack and “Turkey is ready to take every step for the truth to come out. We call on the Iraqi government to not make remarks influenced by the heinous terrorist organisation’s rhetoric and propaganda, and to engage in cooperation to uncover the perpetrators of this cruel act,” indicating that the PKK was responsible, whilst denying their responsibility.
The Kurdistan Parliament released a statement which condemned “in the strongest terms the Turkish military’s shelling and calls on the Iraqi Federal Government to act in accordance with international law and norms and fulfill its legal and constitutional obligation to protect the territorial and airspace sovereignty of the Kurdistan region.”
The US released a statement condemning the attack, “the killing of civilians is unacceptable, and all states must respect their obligations under international law, including the protection of civilians,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
The local time of the incident is unknown.