Contrasting Views Emerge within PKK over Hashd Al-Shaabi – Some leaders from PKK oppose Iran’s intervention in Syria
Diyar Aziz – BasNews – 31/05/2017 – 13:46 – Reports – ERBIL — The Iraqi paramilitary known as Hashd al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) have recently reached the Iraq-Syria border in southern Sinjar in western Nineveh province with support from Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, different viewpoints within PKK are emerging on the relations between PKK and PMF. A number of PKK leaders refuse to work with the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia.The relations between PKK and Iran have been strong over decades and the PKK-affiliated groups have been supporting Bashar Assad in Syria and registered as part of Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq due to such close ties between PKK and Iran.
After reaching the border of Syria, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, commander of PMF Committee, said they would negotiate with Assad’s regime to cross the border into Syria, but a leader from People’s Defense Units (YPG), a PKK affiliate in northern Syria, told Asharq Al-Awsat paper that they oppose the Iranian presence in the region and refuse to be a bridge between the Iraqi PMF and Syrian regime.
The Commander of Rojava (Syrian Krdistan) Security forces (Asayish), Jwan Ibrahim, called on his forces to beware of Iran and the Syrian regime as they are attempting to mobilise their [military] cells against us,” according to Asharq Al-Awsat.Another Kurdish official said that “YPG will not accept in any way to be a bridge between the PMF and the [Syrian] regime.” He argued that “There is no difference between Turkey, Iran and the [Syrian] regime, they all work against us. If the PMF enters our areas, they will face strong resistance.”
These stances of PKK show the party has been divided into two contrasting fronts, particularly after the US military support for YPG. A front within PKK in Rojava openly opposes Iran and Hashd al-Shaabi’s interventions in Syria.These differing viewpoints among the PKK forces are not only seen in Syria, but in Iran as well. On May 27, the PKK forces in Urmia city in western Iranian Kurdish region attacked the Iranian troops and killed a commander and wounded 7 soldiers. PKK later announced the death of 3 of its guerrillas in the attack.The relations between PKK and Iran have been strong over decades and the PKK-affiliated groups have been supporting Bashar Assad in Syria and registered as part of Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq due to such close ties between PKK and Iran. www.mesop.de