By Peggy Gish
“The people in our village are very anxious. They don’t know when the bombs will come again!” Abdulla Mila, farmer and resident of the village of Gwndazhor, in the Choman District, told members of our team as we sat with his family’s home on 2 August, 2017. To get there, we drove through beautiful mountains and valleys, and looked down on lush gardens and orchards terraced down steep mountain sides.
Kak Abdulla spoke about the bombardment by Iranian fighters on Gwndazhor and the surrounding rural areas from 5 AM to about 2 PM on 3 July, 2017, using guided missiles, RPG’s, and machine guns. He said that one reason Iranian forces attacked here is because there were members of the Iranian rebel group, the KDPI (Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran) staying in the area.
As soon as the bombardment got heavy and came close to their home, they, and other families of the area got in their cars and fled. Their family went to the town of Choman , returning later that afternoon when they heard that the attacks were over. Local authorities gave a few of the families three blankets and a box of food while they were away. Otherwise, they received no outside aid during that time.
When they returned, the family found out that the bombardment damaged two houses in the village area. One was that of a woman residing two km from the border. She was injured and her house demolished by forces shooting machine guns from the Iranian military base on top of the mountain, at the border. These troops also injured three fighters from the KDPI. Their shelling damaged twenty farm animals and twenty bee hives, but no farm land or crops.
Out of the seventy-eighty families in the village, about fifty have returned. What Kak Abdulla conveyed was that though people are afraid, they do not want to lose the homes and land in this beautiful mountain area where their families lived and farmed for generations. They are among the families of the border villages who will do all they can to stay and not be displaced.