PKK declares so-called ‘autonomy’ in Peshmerga-controlled Shingal
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has declared so-called “democratic autonomy” in the city of Sinjar (Shingal), located in the southwest of the Kurdistan Region.
In a statement released through the PKK’s ANF media outlet on Sunday, the PKK-founded Democratic Autonomous Assembly in Shingal declared “democratic autonomy” in the region.
The PKK statement said the powers ruling the area prevented Yezidis (Ezidis) from exercising their rights, adding that “self-organization is our most fundamental right.”
“We should not be expected to accept any power that imposes their dominance on us without recognizing our will,” the statement added.
According to the report, the PKK’s Ezidixan People’s Council will negotiate with the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region for future “autonomy.”
If an agreement is not reached, they will hold a referendum to determine whether to join Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, or a third option which the statement did not specify.
The PKK’s move to declare autonomy in Shingal comes during a time when the Region’s political parties have agreed to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25.
In a press conference on July 31, Head of the Shingal District Council Waiys Naiyf said the vote for independence was the “natural right” of all Kurds.
“The representatives of the Shingal district and sub-districts of Snune, Blej, and Girazer recognize the national duty to express our views officially in support of the independence referendum,” he added.
In November 2015, Peshmerga forces with the support of the US-led coalition airplanes liberated Shingal from Islamic State (IS) extremists.
Since then, the PKK and its affiliated forces have occupied Khanasor and areas in western Shingal on the Kurdistan Region-Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) border.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany