PKK attack on Peshmerga ‘violation of Kurdistan Region’: KRG

Halgurd Sherwani | ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) attack on Peshmerga forces is a violation of the Kurdistan Region and its legitimate institutions, a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Wednesday said, as it “strongly condemned” the attack that left one Peshmerga martyred and others injured.

The KRG stated its official stance during a regular session of the council of ministers held in Erbil on Wednesday, in which measures against the coronavirus pandemic as well as the functions of security companies in the region were discussed.

On Wednesday morning, a convoy of Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces came under attack by PKK militants in the Chamalke district in Duhok province following a roadside bomb that exploded next to the KRG forces. The attack resulted in one death and three injuries, the district’s mayor, Aland Amir, told Kurdistan 24.

“The KRG strongly condemns the attack as it is a violation of the Kurdistan Region and its legitimate institutions,” a statement read, as it vowed that the KRG would prevent a “deterioration” of the region’s stability.

Wednesday’s attack came after the PKK attacked an oil pipeline inside Turkey’s Mardin province on Friday that transports the Kurdistan Region’s oil to the Mediterranean Sea through the Ceyhan port. The attack resulted in the suspension of oil exports, which is the economic lifeline for the region.

Immediately after the incident, the KRG condemned the attack on its pipeline as it described it as a “terrorist action” that “only further destabilizes the situation in the region.”

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“The Kurdistan Region is the legitimate and political entity of the people of Kurdistan as the Peshmerga forces are the defenders of the Kurdish people and land,” the statement read, adding that such an incident is an “attack on all the people of Kurdistan.”

The “KRG is against fratricide [Kurdish civil war],” the statement noted as it considered Wednesday’s attack “crossing a red line.”

On Monday, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, called on PKK fighters to leave the Kurdistan Region’s border areas to prevent further escalation with Turkey, stressing, “Our position, the prohibition of Kurd-on-Kurd fighting, must not be exploited to undermine the security and stability of our cities and villages, forcing citizens to leave their homes and properties and martyring them.”

Read More: PKK must end occupation of Kurdistan Region’s border areas: Masoud Barzani

The PKK take their stronghold in the rugged mountainous areas on the borders of Turkey, and from there they launch attacks inside Turkish territory, while Ankara responds by launching air, artillery, and ground attacks on those areas, which inflicts casualties among the civilians, many of whom fled and left hundreds of villages there empty.

Previously, Ghafour Ahmed, the mayor of Mergasur district, located in Erbil on the Kurdistan Region-Turkey border, told local media that “more than 65 villages in the district’s outskirts have been denied access to basic services…because of the PKK presence in the area.”

Read More: Over 65 villages in Kurdistan Region’s Mergasur district unable to access public services due to PKK: Official

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany