ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Peshmerga Ministry responded to Kurdistan Workers’ Party's (PKK) threats on Monday, reminding the group that Peshmerga forces "have many cards to use against them."
Previously, Raza Altun, the executive member of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the PKK umbrella which hosts regional affiliated groups and parties, stated they would no longer respect the boundaries of the Kurdistan Region and turn the region into a battlefield against Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Altun’s speech came after Turkish airstrikes hit the bases of PKK-affiliated groups in Sinjar (Shingal) on April 25, 2017.
“We hope it is just a statement, nothing more because the Kurdistan Region have many cards in hand to use against them [PKK] if it wants to,” the spokesperson of Peshmerga Ministry Halgurd Hikmat told Kurdistan24.
“The support for Peshmerga forces comes from a very high level,” Hikmat said, referring to the international support the Kurdistan Region receives.
The spokesperson also suggested Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) might not have dedicated many efforts to these issues, which they considered to be small compared to more pressing and urgent matters in the region.
Tensions have intensified between the Peshmerga and the PKK following clashes between the two on March 3 in Shingal, resulting in casualties on both sides.
The KRG and Ezidi leaders have repeatedly asked the PKK and its armed wings to withdraw from Shingal area, but the group has rejected the request.
Editing by G. H. Renaud
(Additional reporting by Goran Shakhawan)