The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group the United States and other NATO allies designated a terrorist organization, claims its fighters will only leave Sinjar, Iraq, once it goes back to the control of the Yazidis, a minority group that calls the area its home.
Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists decimated the Yazidi-majority district of Sinjar in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province when they captured large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, killing many of the men and enslaving the women and children.
Although Sinjar, also known as Shingal, was deemed “liberated” in November 2015, some Yazidis told Breitbart News the following April that ISIS rendered the district unlivable.
A statement issued Monday by the co-leadership of a political body linked to the PKK, the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), denied the claims that the Kurdish terrorist group is willing to pull their fighters out of Sinjar, reports Rudaw.
“The PKK assists the Yezidis to create a self-defense force and administrative institutions,” notes the statement, adding that “once the Yezidis have their own protection force and independent administration, then the PKK’s ambitions will be fulfilled in Shingal.”
Moreover, the statement points out that “the more Yezidis create their force, the less guerrilla force will remain there.”
The statement comes after Rudaw cited Mohammed Amin Penjweni, identified as being close to the PKK, saying the PKK and northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have reached an agreement on pulling out the terrorist group’s fighters out of Sinjar.
Rudaw reports that Iraq, Turkey, and the United States all insist the PKK should abandon the region.
Both the U.S. and Turkey have named the PKK a terrorist group.
Moreover, the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani stressed in December that, “The PKK should leave Sinjar. Today’s presence of the PKK in Sinjar causes instability in the region.”
Barzani warned later in the month, during an interview with Al-Monitor, that he was willing to use force against the PKK if it did not voluntarily leave Sinjar.
Despite Baghdad’s opposition to the presence or Turkish troops on Iraqi soil, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim and Iraqi counterpart PM Haider al-Abadi recently met and agreed not to allow terrorist groups to operate on their lands.