"Cluster bombs are designed to strike large troop concentrations or to penetrate armored vehicles and, under international humanitarian law, their use should be limited to areas where there are no civilians."
~ Global Security.
~ Global Security.
A statement by Dr. Bahoz Erdal, HPG (People's Defense forces) Headquarters Commander on the use of cluster bombs by the Turkish state in North and South Kurdistan:
We have stated for years that the Turkish state itself has not acted according to international agreements to which it is a signatory. We have often submitted much evidence on this issue to international institutions, however these were not taken care of.
For example, In 1996 and 1997 in North Kurdistan (Southeastern Turkey), across the border region in Çukurca, Çiyaye Reş, combat aircraft dropped numerous dispensers containing cluster bombs. I would also like to add that these kinds of bombs pose a very great danger to the population since it is not certain when and where they will explode. Because of these bombs, hundreds of Kurdish children have been killed, wounded, and handicapped.
Although these kinds of bombs are legally forbidden, they have been used in some parts of South Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) again.
On 31 July 2007, between 19:00 and 22:00 hours, the areas of Haftanin in the Zaxo region, South Kurdistan, Perex, Şeşdara, Pırbıla, and Keşan were bombarded by enemy Howitzer shells, cluster bombs, and heavy mortars. Again, on 23 May 2007 in Zap, opposite the border from Çukurca, and in Çemco in the town of Şeladize, South Kurdistan, were bombarded with cluster bombs.
After these incidents, there were again attacks at times. Previously the bombs were dropped from aircraft but now they are delivered through artillery and mortar fire, making the work of the Turkish state much easier. Therefore these actions in these territories continue again and again. In particular, the newer cluster bombs come with parachute systems and a piece of rope, looking like toys, as if they are inciting the children to go and play with them. The areas where civilians live, such as gardens, large fields, and the forests where they collect wood, are at present very dangerous. The population is not in the condition to carry out their everyday life
For us, it is a primary task to educate and protect the people in the settlement areas, and particularly the children, against these dangers. Thus we support our people with all our strength against these cluster bomb attacks, which we judge an inhuman punishment of the Turkish state. However, we cannot reach all the areas.
We call all international institutions to attention, to clear the forbidden bombs from the areas and to prevent the Turkish state concerning its barbaric attacks against civilian settlement areas.
Dr. Bahoz Erdal
HPG (People's Defense Forces)
The following are videos of some of the cluster bombs found by the gerîlas. In the second and third videos, the gerîlas explain the dangers to the civilian population, echoing that which Heval Bahoz says in his statement. In the third video, the gerîlas have collected some of the bomblets in order to bury them.
For more on the various types of cluster munitions, check this .pdf chart.
Naturally, if these bombs had been found in Southern Lebanon, instead of Southern Kurdistan, the news would have been all over the front pages of the Western media. At this point, the only ones looking out for the civilian population in affected areas are the Kurdish freedom fighters of the People's Defense Forces.