PAK accuses Iraqi security of arresting, handing ex-Rojhilat Peshmerga to Iran’s IRGC

The Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) on Thursday accused the Federal Government of Iraq of handing over one of its former Peshmerga fighters, who fought the so-called Islamic State, to the recently US-sanctioned Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) after he was arrested in Kirkuk province in February.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) on Thursday accused the Federal Government of Iraq of handing over one of its former Peshmerga fighters, who fought the so-called Islamic State, to the recently US-sanctioned Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) after he was arrested in Kirkuk province in February.

Kamal Salihi was born in 1972 and is from Iranian Kurdistan’s (Rojhilat) Gameshan village in Mahabad city.

Kamal Salihi, a former Peshmerga fighter for the PAK group. (Photo: PAK)
Kamal Salihi, a former Peshmerga fighter for the PAK group. (Photo: PAK)

He was a Peshmerga fighter and chef within the PAK units in the disputed province of Kirkuk, which is under the command of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Peshmerga Ministry.

After the Islamic State’s military defeat in Iraq, and his service as a Peshmerga fighter for the PAK for a year, he decided to put down his arms and leave the group, according to a PAK statement.

Iraqi security forces arrested Salihi in Kirkuk’s Pirde (Altun Kupri) town on Feb. 24, 2019, while he was traveling from Erbil to Sulaimani using the Kirkuk highway, the PAK added.

“PAK holds the failed state of Iraq responsible for the fate of Kamal Salihi, and we will continue to follow the case,” the group stated, adding they would also “reach out to different countries and international human rights group to condemn such a crime.”

The group claimed Iraqi security had recently handed over one of their former fighters to Iran’s IRGC but did not specify the date.

Kurdistan 24 tried to reach security commanders in Kirkuk for comment but received no response.

The PAK has over 100 Rojhilat Peshmerga fighters, both male and female, who fought the Islamic State mainly from southern and southwestern front lines in Kirkuk.

Related Article: WATCH: Iranian Kurdish women join Peshmerga, fight ISIS

The group also continues their struggle against the Iranian government in Rojhilat, seeking to gain Kurdish national rights within a democratic federal republic of Iran.

Related Article: Battle-hardened Rojhilati fighters in Iraq support operations in Iran: Official

The group was founded in 1991 and called the “Revolutionary Union of Kurdistan,” but in 2006, changed its name to the PAK. Hussein Yezdanpanah is currently the party’s secretary-general.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany