25/04/2017 - 10:39 0
Peshmerga Ministry blames PKK for Turkish airstrikes

The Kurdistan Regional Government's Peshmerga Ministry has blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for Turkish airstrikes that killed five Peshmerga fighters and injured nine on Tuesday morning in Shingal.

Peshmerga spokesman Halgurd Hikmat said they wanted the PKK to leave the area. 

"We announce that all these problems are due to the presence of PKK in the area as they have made issues for the people of the Kurdistan Region," his statement read. "Despite all of that, they [PKK] have been asked by all to leave Shingal Mountain, but they refused to do that."

"Again, we call upon the PKK forces to withdraw from Shingal Mountain and areas around as well as stop destabilizing and deepening the issues in the region."

The statement said the Turkish airstrikes were "unacceptable."

Commentators on social media condemned the statement saying the Peshmerga Ministry, largely controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was trying to deflect blame from the Turkish government, which it has close ties with.

The PKK has before said it has only a small presence in the Shingal region, homeland of Kurdish Yazidis, and that the majority of the affiliated forces are locals who make up the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS).

A statement by the YBS said the KDP was spreading "black propaganda."

"This is black propaganda. These people [KDP Peshmerga] have an enemy's mindset. Because everybody knows that the Turkish state is an enemy to the Kurdish people. They attack wherever they feel strong enough to. They can't tolerate a free Kurd. Nobody has the right to delude themselves or deceive the Kurdish people with such talk. The Turkish state's animosity against Kurds has been proven through history. I advise them to research the history of the Turkish state instead of engaging in such talks. These people should look at the reaction the Turkish state has against the Kurdistan regional flag flown in Kirkuk. How do they explain that? Look, they are caught in the trap they laid out for us."

The PKK entered Shingal with the fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG) from Rojava to rescue thousands of Yazidis from the Islamic State (ISIS) group in 2014.

Turkish airstrikes also targeted YPG positions in eastern Rojava's Derik city, on the border with Shingal.