Iraq cuts off support for PKK, vice president says

13 02 2017

The Iraqi government has cut off its support to the PKK, the country’s Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi said.

The PKK is an armed organisation that has carried out attacks in Turkey, targeting government institutions, security forces and civilians since 1984. The group, which is based in northern Iraq’s Qandil mountains, is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as other countries and international bodies, including the US and the EU.

Turkish Armed Forces regularly carry out cross-border operations into northern Iraq on PKK hideouts. But the Iraqi government in Baghdad had been supporting the group with arms and funds.

The PKK captured the strategic Sinjar region, a short distance from the neighbouring Syrian governorate of Hasaka, from the Daesh terrorist group at the end of 2015. It has controlled the area, mainly populated by the ethno-religious Yazidi minority, with the support of the Iraqi government ever since.

But in an interview given to Rudaw, the official news agency of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Iraqi vice president said that Baghdad stopped paying salaries to the PKK and their Yazidi affiliates after Turkey “reached a deal” with the KRG and the Iraqi government.

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PKK/PYD accused of ethnic cleansing in northern Syria

10 02 2017

ANKARA

Syrian offshoots of the terrorist PKK group, including the PYD and its armed wing the YPG, have been accused by academics, journalists and human rights groups of carrying out ethnic cleansing of local Arabs and razing their homes in northern Syria.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Thursday, Kawa Azizi, a board member of Syria’s Kurdish National Council, said the PKK/PYD “kidnaps, imprisons, tortures, and kills people in the region” in the Syrian Kurdish region known as Rojava.

The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization also by the U.S., and the EU. Turkey considers the YPG and PYD as terror organizations too since they are offshoots of the PKK terror group.

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Turkey wants Iraq to take ‘concrete’ steps against PKK

10 02 2017

Turkey wants to see concrete steps from the central Iraqi government against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) presence in the Sinjar district, west of Mosul, the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad has said.

“We want to see the same efforts deployed by the Baghdad government against the presence of PKK which has been nestled in the area for a long time,” Ambassador Fatih Yıldız told Anadolu Agency. “The PKK is exploiting some ethnic groups in the region.”

The ambassador said the Iraqi side was aware of the situation in the region, “but has not taken the steps we expect against the PKK presence in Sinjar so far.”

“This is a process that will require the involvement of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government [KRG] due to the location of Sinjar. We want Iraq, as a whole, to take concrete step to remove this threat from its own territory,” Yıldız said.

The PKK is trying to gain ground in Sinjar amid an ongoing operation to clear the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Mosul.

The group has also sought to establish a foothold in the region that falls to the northeastern mountainous outskirts of Nineveh province, since ISIL was driven out last year by the KRG’s peshmerga and local forces with the help of the U.S.-led coalition.

However, Turkey has expressed concerns about the PKK’s presence there and said it would take precautionary measures, including deploying troops, to prevent the terror group from securing a base in the region.

Referring to the political and economic relationship between Turkey and Iraq, Yıldız said the two countries share a long-standing past.

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PKK must not be allowed in Iraq: Kurdish officials

11 01 2017

Iraqi Kurdish officials on Wednesday said the presence of “Turkey’s enemies” — in reference to the PKK terrorist group — should not be allowed to operate on Iraqi territory.

“According to understandings between Turkey and Iraq, the latter should not be harboring the enemies of Turkey,” Sahevan Abdullah, an MP for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq’s parliament, said in a statement carried on the party’s website.

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Turkey, Iraq to take anti-PKK measures without delay: PM

9 01 2017

Turkey and Iraq will coordinate and take measures without delay against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) presence on Iraqi soil, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, while reiterating that Ankara would take necessary action to remove the PKKfrom Sinjar if Iraq and the Peshmerga do not.

“The PKK’s presence in Sinjar province is a matter of national security for Turkey. We have discussed this issue at length. Either the Iraq and Peshmerga forces will remove the PKK from there or Turkey will do whatever is necessary,” he told reporters late Jan. 8.
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PKK attacks AKP office in southeastern Turkey, wounds three policemen

30 10 2016

Outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have attacked the local office of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Kızıltepe district of the southeastern province of Mardin with bombs and rifles, wounding three policemen.

The militants held the bomb attack on the office 9:50 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Policemen taking guards in front of the office responded the gunfire by the militants after the bomb attack. Three of them were wounded in the clash, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.

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PKK seeking to infiltrate upcoming Mosul op: Ezidi MP

17 10 2016

ERBIL, Iraq

An Ezidi lawmaker in northern Iraq’s Kurdish parliament on Friday warned that the PKK terrorist organization may attempt to involve itself in the upcoming campaign to retake the Daesh-held city of Mosul under the guise of Shia militia groups.

“The PKK wouldn’t dare to breach Mosul’s city center,” Sheikh Shamo told Anadolu Agency.

“But it may try to operate with the Hashd al-Shaabi in Tal Afar, which is close to Sinjar [west of Mosul], where it uses the threat posed by Daesh as a pretext to stay in the region,” he said.

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Germany: PKK member sentenced to over 3 years in prison

13 10 2016

By Cuneyt Karadag

BERLIN

A German court Thursday sentenced a man to three-and-a-half years in prison on charges of being a member of the PKK terrorist organization.

The Stuttgart state court said the suspect, identified only as Ali O. in line with German privacy rules, had also been running PKK finances in Europe since 2010.

Ali O. was detained in February 2015 in the city of Villingen-Schwenningen and first appeared in court that December.

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Syrian Democratic Forces is PKK’s ‘sheath': ex-official

28 09 2016

SANLIURFA, Turkey

A former senior official of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has accused the group of being a “sheath” of the PKK terrorist organization.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an interview, Abdulkarim al-Ubaid, who spoke on condition that his location is not revealed, said though he served as a senior SDF executive, he did not have a say in the group’s decision-making process.

In October 2015, the PYD — the PKK’s Syrian wing — brought small groups of Arab fighters to form the SDF, promising to share weapons and logistics offered by the United States.

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10 soldiers killed in PKK attacks in Turkey’s southeast

26 09 2016

At least 10 Turkish soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded on Sept. 26 in two separate attacks by the militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast.

Six soldiers were killed in an atack on a checkpoint in Şırnak, while four others were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Mardin’s Derik district.

PKK militants remotely detonated an explosive placed on the Kızıltepe-Derik motorway during the passing of a civilian-plated minibus carrying soldiers at around 9:20 a.m. near Tepedağ village.

Four soldiers were killed and another six were wounded in the attack, according to initial reports.
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