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Turkey escalates assaults in opposition to PKK rebels throughout northern Iraq

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Feb 10, 2021

Turkey says it has netted a high-level Kurdish militant in a covert operation mounted by its nationwide intelligence group in Iraq’s Yazidi-dominated Sinjar area. Ibrahim Parim of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who glided by the codename “Lazer,” was accountable for “logistics,” in line with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu information company.

Sitting on the border of Kurdish-governed northeast Syria, Sinjar serves as a crucial hyperlink for PKK rebels transferring between Iraq and Syria, in line with Turkish authorities. Turkey has focused the realm on a number of events, killing what it claims had been high-value PKK targets. The Turkish assaults have sowed panic among the many civilian inhabitants already traumatized by the Islamic State’s genocidal marketing campaign in opposition to the Yazidis in 2014.

On Feb. 8, Sinjar Mayor Mahma Khalil known as on the Iraqi authorities to claim full management over the realm, saying this could head off a Turkish invasion. He stated Sinjar ought to be demilitarized. “Neither the [PKK] nor Turkey should be allowed to attack,” he stated.

PKK sources say the decision by Khalil, who was put in as mayor according to a latest UN-backed safety deal signed in October 2020 between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that’s allied with Turkey, is a part of a coordinated plan to oust the PKK from Sinjar.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar traveled to Baghdad and Erbil final month to debate joint cooperation in opposition to the PKK, and it is extensively believed he was searching for approval for a joint navy offensive in opposition to the PKK in Sinjar. However, it’s unlikely Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi would greenlight additional intervention by Turkey, whose decadeslong navy presence in northern Iraq is a supply of pressure between the 2 neighbors.

The PKK performed a crucial function in rescuing hundreds of Yazidis from the Islamic State in August 2014 after KRG peshmerga forces fled from Sinjar with out even leaving the Yazidis weapons with which to defend themselves. As a consequence, nearly all of Yazidis now not belief the KRG however are divided over the function of the PKK due to the Turkish aggression the fighters’ presence attracts.

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani famous right this moment through Twitter that the Sinjar settlement “has not been implemented in accordance with the terms. Forces that were supposed to withdraw remain in the area.”

It was unclear whether or not he was referring to the PKK or a neighborhood Yazidi militia it helped set up and prepare, the Sinjar Protection Units, which additionally has hyperlinks to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units working within the space. Sinjar is among the many so-called disputed territories that the KRG claims ought to be below Kurdish management.

In a associated growth, Turkey’s Ministry of Defense stated in a press release right this moment it had launched a brand new operation in opposition to the PKK near Gare Mountain northeast of Dahuk.

Gare is a transit level for PKK militants crossing into Turkey. The PKK’s navy wing, the People’s Defense Forces, confirmed in a press release that the Turkish military had launched a serious operation in opposition to its forces in Gare, deploying assault helicopters and fighter jets. Saban Xelil, a neighborhood mayor, informed the Kurdistan 24 information outlet that Turkish navy plane had bombed six villages within the space because the early hours of Feb. 10 and the assault had continued till Eight p.m. native time. No casualties had been reported, however vineyards and agricultural lands had been severely broken, he stated.

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