Kurdish PKK Forces Gather to Retake Mahmur Camp and Shingal

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D:

Deniz Firat, journalist, Mahmur resident, killed today by IS

Deniz Firat, journalist, Mahmur resident, killed today by IS

Fighting continued today at UNHCR Mahmur Camp in northern Iraq.  ‘Islamic State’ or IS (also referred to as ISID, ISIS or ISIL) controls it from inside.  Twenty IS are reported to have been killed.  All residents have left the town.  The men of Mahmur Camp remain in the mountains approximately 15 km from town.  Three of them were killed today during fighting.

Also killed this afternoon was Deniz Firat, a young female journalist who lived in Mahmur Camp and was a reporter for IMC TV in Turkey.  The Kurdish Firat News Agency has condemned the attack by IS calling them enemies of humanity.  Firat News said Deniz Firat was their principle source of reports from the front.

As is so common in Turkey which censors websites that mention the PKK, FiratNews.com is blocked today in Turkey so the photo of journalist Deniz Firat and the report of her death cannot be seen.  This unrelenting suppression of the mere reference to the PKK does not bode well for Mahmur Camp expecting any Turkish, Iraqi, or American forces coming to its defense.

Kurdish PKK forces have gathered in the last 24 hours near Mahmur Camp from surrounding areas including guerilla forces from HPG (Kandil mountains, Iraq), YPG (Syria), PJAK (Iran), KDP (Peshmerga), and  PUK (Peshmerga).  In addition to guerilla forces, many Kurdish civilians with relatives driven out of Mahmur Camp have arrived from Turkey to join them in the surrounding mountains.

Mahmur Camp is an official United Nations refugee camp.  As such, the United Nations had both a moral and legal obligation to defend its residents.

Amy L. Beam promotes tourism to eastern Turkey at Mount Ararat Trek (http://www.mountararattrek.com) and writes occasionally on Kurdish issues. Follow her on twitter @amybeam

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