Turkish state forces are implementing an all-out media blackout across the town of Cizre in the wake of yesterday’s offensive by Turkish forces on two buildings where wounded people had taken shelter and were trapped as a result of artillery attacks over a sixteen day siege. At least 60 Kurds – men, women and childrem – are known to have lost their lives. Most of those inside the building had been sheltering in the basement. The Turkish Government claimed all the occupants were members of the proscribed PKK. A local political leader has stated that the attack had all the hallmarks of a military-Ergenekon (‘deep state’) alliance, as part of the Government offensive against the Kurds. So far, mainstream media in the West has ignored the massacre.
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DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) Co-President Kamuran Yüksek said that state forces attacked both the basements in Cizre where wounded people had been waiting to be evacuated. The DBP and HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) delegation had been trying to reach the wounded, but were forced to turn back due to obstructions.
Yuksek clarified that one of the basements attacked was where 26 wounded had sought refuge and 7 had died; the other basement was where a further 60 wounded had taken shelter. Yesterday medics finally reached the basement where the 60 wounded people had taken shelter but found “tens of dead bodies” in the basement. Yuksek described what had happened as a massacre.
The massacre took place after a 16 day siege. During that time the wounded in the building had been waiting to be taken to hospital. Communication with wounded people in another basement, where nine people were burnt to death and one child was shot by state forces, had been cut off for some days.
The exact time of the massacre remains unknown – the only information available is that tens of people – some estimate 60 – were killed. In the meantime, a number of corpses have been taken to Cizre State Hospital. Staff at the hospital are currently barred from contact with the outside world. Health workers in the two municipal ambulances sent to the scene for the retrieval of bodies were also forced to turn off their mobile phones.
Note… According to Turkey’s General Staff, the number of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members killed during military operations in the southeastern districts of Cizre and Sur reached 733 on Sunday. According to Amnesty International, at least 150 civilians, including children, have been killed during the Turkish operation against the Kurds.