Kurdistan Peshmerga General Command: PKK continue deploying reinforcements from Syria to Kurdistan

Peshmerga General Command: PKK continue deploying reinforcements from Syria to Kurdistan
Members of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a militia affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), stand in the village of Umm al-Dhiban, northern Iraq, April 29, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region’s General Command of Peshmerga Forces stated on Sunday that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its affiliated armed groups in Sinjar (Shingal) continue to deploy reinforcements from Syria to the border and in the Kurdistan Region.

The General Command of Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan Region issued a statement saying that PKK are illegally positioned in Shingal against the wishes of Ezidis and the Kurdistan Region, adding that Shingal and surrounding area are part of the Region and Iraq.

“The Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs has embraced at least 8,000 Ezidis fighters based in and around Sinjar as part of an effort to give Ezidis autonomy over security affairs. It's also in talks to accept more. PKK affiliates remain the only armed factions operating outside of official military and security institutions,” the statement read.

“The Kurdistan Region will not allow factions to create ungoverned or armed fiefdoms,” the statement added, stating that the Region does not intend to enter an armed conflict, given the sacrifices of Peshmerga Forces on the Islamic State (IS) extremists.

On Friday morning, the PKK and its affiliated armed wing called Shingal Resistance Unit (YBS) and the Peshmerga forces that were deployed in the Khanasor area clashed, resulting in death and injuries to both sides.

Regarding the Friday clashes, the statement explained that on 2 March, PKK and its affiliates, including YBS and YPG, based in Khanasor, blocked Peshmerga Forces from a routine deployment to control the porous border and prevent widespread smuggling, but PKK set up a road block using six vehicles armed with DShk heavy machine guns.

The Peshmerga commanders to avoid tensions and prevent violence delayed the deployment near Snune and initiated talks with PKK commanders in the area but they said that “without approval from PKK's leadership in Qandil Mountains, they were powerless to make decisions.”

The two PKK commanders, Agid Jeviyan and Zaki Shingali, originally from Turkey have zero connections to Shingal, General Command of Peshmerga Forces stated.  

At approximately 6:30 AM (Local Time) on 3 March, PKK and its affiliates fired upon the Roj Brigade, part of an anti-IS alliance under the command of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, following a routine deployment to nearby positions.

“The Kurdistan Region reiterates the call for all PKK fighters to withdraw from Shingal,” the statement concluded.