KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Tuesday expressed concern over the display of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) posters and banners in neighborhoods of the Kurdistan Region’s Kirkuk Province.
Following recent reports of the PKK flag flying in the main square of Ahmedi Khani, north of Kirkuk city, Abadi warned the move could lead to further tensions in the region.
“We cannot accept such activities since they open the door to a new conflict,” he said at a news conference.
Portraits of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and other banners of the group were reportedly seen in the city center.
Abadi added Iraq would not tolerate such groups attacking Turkey.
Previously, Kurdistan24 contacted PKK commanders in the area who mentioned they were not responsible for the hoisting of the flags.
The commanders suggested supporters in the city were the ones putting up the pro-PKK material.
Tensions between the PKK and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) escalated following clashes on March 3, 2017, between the Peshmerga and a PKK-affiliate group in Sinjar (Shingal).
The violence resulted in several casualties from both sides.
Additionally, the KRG blamed the PKK’s presence in the Region for recent Turkish airstrikes which led to the death of several Peshmerga soldiers.
Kurdish officials have repeatedly asked the group to leave the Kurdistan Region “to put an end to destabilizing and escalating tensions.”
The PKK is labeled a “terrorist” organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany