(Sulaymaniyah) Waving flags of Iraqi Kurdistan, a few hundred demonstrators gathered in Sulaimaniyeh on Sunday to denounce the recurrent bombardments carried out by neighboring Turkey, two days after an attack near the city’s airport.

For decades, the Turkish army has had military positions in northern Iraq where it regularly launches operations against Turkish Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But Friday’s bombardment, which did not cause any injuries, took place when American soldiers and the commander of an influential Arab-Kurdish coalition in Syria were at Suleimaniyeh airport.

On Sunday in the center of Sulaymaniyah, the second largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, around 400 protesters marched, some holding a banner that read “the attack on Sulaymaniyah airport is a terrorist act”, according to an AFP correspondent. .

“Erdogan dictator”, chanted the demonstrators in particular in reference to the Turkish president, during this rally organized by activists and former parliamentarians.

“This is not the first Turkish aggression against civilian targets in the region,” slammed Ali Amine, a 66-year-old retired civil servant. “It has become a permanent aggression, sometimes it is villages, sometimes civilian targets: agricultural land, water or electricity installations. »

Faced with the Turkish operations, activist Fatma Hamid, 55, denounced “the lax positions” of the authorities of the Kurdistan region, which has been autonomous for three decades.

“Kurdish citizens have made sacrifices to achieve freedom. These sacrifices were not to be directed by the family power of the Barzani or the Talabani,” she exclaimed, referring to the two historical clans that share the leadership of Kurdistan.

The Defense Ministry in Ankara has denied any involvement in Friday’s incident.

Iraqi Kurdistan is a collateral victim of the conflict between Turkey and the PKK, a movement classified as “terrorist” by Ankara and its Western allies, which has rear bases in northern Iraq.

In neighboring Syria, the Turkish army has also launched several offensives against Kurdish fighters who dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), accusing them of being an extension of the PKK even if they are allied with Washington in the fight against jihadist.

The SDF finally admitted that their leader Mazloum Abdi was at Sulaymaniyah airport at the time of the attack. In a video uploaded on Saturday, Mr. Abdi claimed that “Turkish drones” had bombed as he was about to fly back to Syria.