MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : A YEZIDI NO CONTRA PKK  – Yezidi House asks Iraq, international community to oust PKK from Sinjar / IRAQ

Hiwa Shilani |  28 July 2020 -Ezidi demonstrators holding a sign requesting Iraq “not to Allow Sinjar to become a second PKK base,” July 26, 2020. ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Sunday, supporters and members of the House of Yezidis (Ezidis) held a protest to demand that Iraq, and the international community more broadly, expel the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) from the Ezidi homeland of Sinjar (Shingal.)

The protest took place on Sunday afternoon and was organized and arranged by activists and members of the “House of Ezidis,” a political entity of the Ezidis in Shingal. The purpose of the protest was to express the residents’ opposition to the PKK’s presence in Shingal.

A source confirmed to Kurdistan 24 that PKK personnel had established several checkpoints to prevent the demonstration from taking place and “warned several shopkeepers and citizens against taking part in it.”

The demonstrators displayed the Iraqi flag and distributed flyers requesting both the Iraqi government and the international community to “expel the PKK from Shingal and to prevent them from turning Ezidi boys and girls into militants.”

They also demanded that the PKK “reveal the fates of the Ezidi youths, who have been kidnapped by the PKK.”

In addition, the demonstrators said that the PKK should stop drilling tunnels in Shingal mountain and remove its bases inside the Shingal district.

The demonstrators expressed their concerns about the presence of foreign and Arab militants inside PKK ranks. They stressed that those people should leave Shingal and the PKK as a whole should take its conflicts away from their homes.

Similar sentiments were expressed on Monday in the Bradost area of Erbil province, which was the target of Turkish artillery shelling, aimed at the PKK.

The PKK found a foothold in Shingal, following the assault by ISIS in the summer of 2014 on northern Iraq. PKK fighters came down from their mountain bases along the Iraq-Iran border to support the Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Region and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to open a safe corridor for Ezidis to flee the ravages of ISIS, as the terrorist group seized Shingal.

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes in the border areas of the Kurdistan Region against alleged PKK positions. Due to the ongoing clashes between the PKK and the Turkish military, hundreds of villages along the Turkish-Kurdistan border have been evacuated.

Over the past few years, the KRG has repeatedly called on the PKK to stop using the region as a launchpad for its attacks against Turkish government forces.

Editing by Laurie Mylroie