ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and affiliated armed wings in Shingal receive a salary from Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi forces to complete the Shia Crescent and open a corridor from Iraq to Syria, said the Chief of Staff of Peshmerga Forces Jamal Iminiki on Saturday.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, Iminiki stated the PKK and its armed forces in Sinjar (Shingal) had coordinated with Hashd al-Shaabi forces known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
According to Iminiki, over 1,000 fighters from the PKK armed-wings, such as the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS), receive salaries from the PMU.
“The stationing of PKK-affiliated groups in the area is under a regional agenda,” Iminiki claimed.
“They are directed and lined by Hashd al-Shaabi, Iran, and Syria to complete the Shia Crescent in the region,” he added.
The Peshmerga Commander mentioned regional countries like Iran and Syria use the PKK and its armed-groups to open a corridor to Syria.
PKK and its armed groups previously stated they represented the local Yezidi (Ezidi) people in Shingal and denied allegations of links with regional countries.
On Friday, clashes erupted between Peshmerga forces and YBS in the Khanasor area located in northwestern Shingal.
The clashes lasted two hours and resulted in casualties for both sides.
Peshmerga and PKK accused each other of initiating the clashes and called for the stopping of intra-Kurdish fighting.
“The deployment of Peshmerga to the Snune and Khanasor areas were to parts of Kurdistan soil,” Iminiki explained. “We haven’t entered another country’s land.”
The Peshmerga Commander added Shingal and surrounding towns were part of the Kurdistan Region, and Peshmerga forces were free to deploy in the areas at any time.
“Neither PKK nor any other forces will be allowed to call themselves the owner of those areas,” Iminiki warned.
The Chief of Staff of Peshmerga forces accused the PKK of spreading baseless propaganda about Kurdish forces deployed in the area to fight them.
“Our main target in the area is to eradicate [the Islamic State] as there are still some parts of Shingal which remain under their control, especially in the south of the city,” Iminiki concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany