KRG rejects Iran's request to hand over Kurdish rebels, urges peaceful resolution

“The KRG believe that the issue cannot be resolved through military means or violence."

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says it is not possible to hand over Kurdish rebels or refugees to Iranian authorities, calling on the conflicting parties to stop using the Kurdistan Region as their battleground.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, KRG spokesperson Safeen Dizayee called on the Kurdish political parties as well as the neighboring countries, mainly Iran and Turkey, to stop using the Kurdistan Region to fight their battles, urging them to resolve their issues peacefully.

On Saturday, Iranian missiles struck the headquarters of two main Iranian Kurdish parties as well as a refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region’s town of Koya which killed at least 15 and injured 42 others.

Asked about Iran’s request to either expel the Iranian Kurdish refugees and political parties or hand them over to Iranian authorities, the KRG spokesperson said such a demand is not possible.

“Iranian Kurds have been living in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq for a long time, and a majority of them have been recognized as refugees by the United Nations [High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)], and they should not use the Kurdistan Region’s soil to attack neighboring countries,” Dizayee explained.

“The KRG believes the issue cannot be resolved through military means or violence, but there should be other ways to reach a resolution,” he stressed.

The spokesperson also urged the political parties to consider the Kurdistan Region’s request and prevent civilians from being targeted. Dizayee underlined that this should not be an excuse for neighboring countries to continue their bombardment or incursion into Kurdistan.

The KRG has continuously called on the conflicting parties to keep the bombardments away from civilians, the spokesperson reminded.  

He added that the Kurdistan Region had plans to reconstruct the villages on the border, but due to the presence of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters and recently Iranian Kurdish opposition parties, the projects were halted.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany