Ahmedi clarifies events that led PKK attacking KDPI fighters / Loghman H. Ahmedi, KDPI’s Head of Foreign Relations

ERBIL-Hewler, 25 May 2015 – Early Sunday morning, 24 May 2015, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters initiated and military attack on Peshmerga fighters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) in the border region between southern (Iraqi) and eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan that led to one KDPI fighter being martyred and three others injured. PKK has made numerous false claims about this unwarranted aggression. In order to clarify what actually happened Loghman H. Ahmedi, KDPI’s Head of Foreign Relations, describes the events that led to the unwarranted attack by the PKK fighters. PKK first denied that any armed attack against KDPI’s fighters had occurred and claimed that it was a conspiracy created by some media outlets to harm HDP’s campaign in the Turkish election. Later the PKK acknowledged that the attack had occurred, but claimed that KDPI’s forces had entered the region without coordinating with them. Then they said that KDPI had coordinated with them but that the KDPI peshmerga had said that they would only going to pass through the mountain region but KDPI’s forces had stayed and set up checkpoints and extorted money from poor people in the region. And the reason PKK’s fighters attacked the KDPI’s peshmerga was to protect the poor people.

After a couple of hours PKK’s armed wing issued a statement that claimed that “HPG guerrillas [PKK fighters] offered help to a group of 15-20 KDP-I [KDPI] peshmergas who entered the Xinera and wanted to cross into East Kurdistan a while ago. Remarking that the peshmerga group, however, didn’t cross the border and kept waiting at a point in Xinera area, where there is an intense presence of HPG forces, the statement continued; “At around 5 pm yesterday evening, a KDP-I force of 7-8 vehicles coming from Diyana arrived and positioned in the area of Berbızına. A group of HPG guerrillas in Berbızına and Xınere went near them at 9 am this morning to understand what they aimed and wanted to do. Following talks between two sides, the 60-70 person group of peshmergas in Berbızına turned back to where they came from. On the other hand, a group of peshmergas secretly approached a team of guerrillas and wanted to neutralize them as they were waiting behind the other guerrilla group that went near the peshmerga groups in Xınere to talk. They refused to listen to the warnings of the guerrillas to not to come closer, whereupon a team of guerrillas opened a warning fire on them in order not to be captured. In a clash that erupted afterwards and lasted 3-4 minutes, a peshmerga fighter lost his life and one other was wounded.”

Regarding the PKK’s claim that there was some kind of conspiracy by different media outlets against PKK Ahmedi said, “it is really worrisome that the PKK attempted to deny that the attack had even occurred in the first place by alleging that it was a conspiracy against HDP. The PKK knows very well that KDPI has always supported the democratic process in northern [Turkey] Kurdistan and the fact that they used this pretext to claim that they had not attacked our Peshmerga forces could in itself be interpreted as a conspiracy.”

“PKK’s foreign relations spokesperson said in several interviews that the PKK have had a presence in the mountains in which the attack happened since 1980 and shamefully accused our Peshmergas of extorted money from poor people and because our leadership had not coordinated with them, the PKK had carried out the attack as a warning to our Peshmergas. I am no expert in PKK history but I thought that PKK had its bases in the Bekaa valley in Lebonon and later in Syria and that they began operating in 1984. However, what is clear is that the region in which the attack occurred has been a operating base for our Peshmerga forces during several decades, long before the PKK was established,” Ahmedi said in the statement. “Moreover, PKK’s claim that our Peshmerga forces had extorted money from poor people is both shameful and ridiculous, especially considering the fact that members of the PKK have been put on trail in European countries on that specific charge,” Ahmedi added. In the statement Ahmedi also said that “our Peshmerga forces have moved in and out of the region continuously. The PKK threatened our Peshmerga forces on numerous occasions, but our leadership ordered the Peshmergas to avoid PKK fighters and not engage with them, a couple of days ago a large PKK force besieged one of our operating bases and did not allow our Peshmergas to move freely. Our party made every effort possible to reach a peaceful solution to the situation but the PKK either did not reply to our requests or issued new threats. Our party avoided to publicly discuss the situation until we felt that an attack was imminent. But unfortunately, yesterday morning, PKK fighters attacked one of our Peshmerga platoons.”

Regarding the statement that PKK’s armed wings issued, Ahmedi said “anyone that has any military knowledge knows that the event that the PKK describes in that statement could not have happened. According to the statement there were at least 80-90 KDPI Peshmergas in that specific place, and some of our Peshmergas have supposedly tried to attack them from behind, yet the result of the fire fight was that one of our Peshmergas was killed and three were injured and not a single PKK fighter was injured or killed. That sounds incredible and it is total fabrication of what actually happened. The reality is that they besieged our operating base and ambushed our Peshmerga Forces.”

“Moreover, our Peshmerga forces apprehended several PKK fighters after the attack and after that other Peshmergas came to the aide of the besieged operating base, not only did our Peshmergas release the PKK fighters but we even gave them back their weapons. That should be a clear indication that we had no intention of engaging in any form of conflict with the PKK and that we still hope that we can reach a peaceful solution to this situation. However, it should be clear, that we will not withdraw our Peshmerga forces and our Peshmerga forces will defend themselves in case of any hostile actions,” Ahmedi concluded. Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, pdki.prg