Former PKK commander describes Asayish assassination, Peshmerga killings in Kurdistan Region Security Council video

Inan Ahmed Mirza Chelik explains that he is a former PKK commander in a video released by the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Inan Ahmed Mirza Chelik explains that he is a former PKK commander in a video released by the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Monday released a video showing a man describing his personal history as a commander of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who speaks of witnessing the party's aggressive policy against the autonomous region of Iraq.

The video, similar to some confession videos released by the KRSC in the past, showcased the commander, named Inan Ahmed Mirza Chelik, who explains that he witnessed multiple PKK plots against the Peshmerga or other security forces, including the October assassination of an Asayish security official at the Sarzeri border-crossing and the killing of five Peshmerga near mount Matin in early June.

Read More: PKK rocket attack in Duhok kills 5 Peshmerga, injures 4

The PKK has been locked in a decades-long conflict against Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey that has led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. The group is headquartered in the Kurdistan Region's Qandil Mountains, mostly in rural areas along the Turkish and Iranian borders. 

Officials from both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have repeatedly called on Turkey and the PKK to take their fight away from areas populated by civilians, thousands of whom have been displaced, suffered damage to their farms, livestock, or other property. Others have suffered serious injury or even death as a result of skirmishes or Turkish bombardment of suspected PKK positions.

The conflict has escalated in recent weeks, as have hostilities between the PKK and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

According to Chelik, he was born in 1990 in Eastern Turkey's Bitlis province and joined the PKK in 2008 as a regular fighter for two years until 2010, when he began rising in the ranks. He then entered the Kurdistan Region in 2016.

Chelik says that he left the PKK on June 9, though there are few details given about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the armed group.

"The PKK considers every citizen who works in the border areas of the region as agents, spies, and often targets and assassinates them," he said while addressing the death of Ghazi Salih Alikhan, the Asayish official who worked at the Sarzeri border-crossing, killed while off duty.

"This includes the martyr Alikhan, who did not want to submit to PKK demands, so he was targeted along with a number of other people."

Chelik added that he was personally able to confirm that the decision to assassinate Alikhan came from the Supreme Command of PKK, noting, "Those targeted are warned one time and then are threatened with death." 

He claimed that the PKK in fact formed a special team to assassinate Alikhan, saying, "The two commanders of the force assigned to assassinate him were Jasour Robosky and Plng Jrza, and they assassinated him using a Russian sniper weapon and an M-16 machine gun that had a number four scope on it."

Regarding the rocket attack that killed the five Peshmerga in early June, he said, "PKK militants planned for one year to strike the Peshmerga forces in that area," adding, "They planted mines along all the roads of the region and brought heavy weapons to it in addition to sniper weapons and anti-armor rockets.”

The former PKK commander called on PKK leaders "to stop sacrificing the lives of youths on the pretext of liberty and put an end to the killing of 15-year-old teenagers who don’t even know how to use a weapon."

"Just like me, I know you are joining the fight on the ideas of freedom for Kurdish people and a free Kurdistan, but the PKK is based on pretenses of liberty and takes advantage of the ideals of freedom and national struggle."

Editing by John J. Catherine