- Iranian border guards shot and killed a 26-year-old Kurdish man, Sirwan Aziz, who worked as a porter in “Kolbar,” an Iraqi border town. In the same incident, several Kurdish women were shot and injured. A recently released graphic video, which was recorded by Aziz’s colleagues, revealed that Aziz was shot in the back.
- Masoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, met with the Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Salim Al-Jabouri. According to the office of Kurdistan’s Presidency, Barzani told Al-Jabouri that the independence referendum in Kurdistan is “a fateful decision that is irreversible.” During the meeting, Barzani reaffirmed “that the people of Kurdistan want to exercise their rights without violence and they insist on the need to resort to peaceful methods.” On May 25, Al-Jabouri made a speech opposing the Kurdistan independence referendum, saying that “ those who are trying to divide Iraq must find another homeland.”
- The Peshmerga forces in Tuz town, south of Kirkuk, repelled two attacks by ISIS on their military base. ISIS terrorists used four suicide bombers to target the Peshmerga guards by Al-Sediq base, west of Tuz. In Kharabarut village, Dibis, west of Kirkuk, four Peshmerga forces were injured in an IED explosion. The Governor of Kirkuk Najmaldin Karim stated that ISIS terrorists have increased their activities in the Hamrin mountains between Selahaddin and Diyala provinces. Karim also stated that the Mosul liberation operation was nearing its end, noting that ISIS terrorists are fleeing to their last stronghold: Haweja District, west of Kirkuk City.
- On June 18, the U.S.-led coalition downed a Syrian regime fighter jet after it had attacked the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in al Tabgah town near Raqqa during a battle between the SDF and ISIS. According to a statement from the U.S. Central Command, “at 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.” After the incident, SDF spokesperson Gen. Talal Silo said that SDF forces reserved the right of defense in responding to regime attacks. Silo accused the Syrian regime of targeting the SDF forces with “warplanes, artillery and tanks since June 17, 2017.” These attacks came after the SDF began successfully liberating several neighborhoods in Raqqa City from ISIS control.
- On June 17, the SDF announced a 10-day balance sheet for its Raqqa liberation operation. According to the balance sheet, four neighborhoods inside Raqqa city have been liberated, 15 SDF fighters have been martyred,11 others have been wounded, and 312 terrorists have been killed. The SDF also announced that many terrorist vehicles were destroyed, as well as some weapons and equipment captured (including 30 Katyusha rockets). The SDF also announced the addition of 150 new recruits from the Raqqa area to its ranks after their graduation from basic training.
- The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) released a statement condemning the 25-year imprisonment of Turkish lawmaker Enis Berberoglu, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) . The HDP statement said that “the coup targeting democracy, a process that began on 20 May 2016 with the lifting of parliamentary immunity in Parliament, continued with tens of municipal co-chairs being arrested, the appointment of government trustees to elected municipal offices and, on November 4, the taking hostage of our Co-Chairs and our members of parliament.” The HDP described the arrest of the Turkish lawmaker as a “continuation of this process.” Last week a Turkish court sentenced Berberoglu to 25 years in prison for “revealing state information” after he published reports of Turkish intelligence sending military aides to Syrian armed groups. The CHP voted in favor of lifting the immunity on the HDP lawmaker last year.
- Turkey’s parliament stripped HDP Kurdish lawmaker Tugba Hezar of her position under the charge of being absent from her position for too long. Turkey’s capital lawmaker Sirri Sureyya Onder announced that the joint Parliamentarian commission had agreed to revoke Hezar’s Parliamentarian status after a majority voted in favor of the action. With Hezar losing her seat, the HDP has now lost three lawmakers since the 2015 November elections.
- The Washington D.C. police issued arrest warrants against 12 of Turkish President Tayyip Receb Erdogan’s security guards for their violent attacks against peaceful Kurdish protesters in front of Turkey’s ambassador residency in Washington D.C. in May. Additionally, two Turkish-American citizens who participated in the violence against the protesters were arrested by U.S. Marshals in Virginia and New Jersey.