Rojava Peshmerga deployment to Shingal is not to attack PKK, K. presidency Any armed groups in the Shingal region other than the Peshmerga must leave and that most of them are related to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) whose presence is opposed by local people and the authorities alike, the spokesperson of the Kurdish presidency Omed Sabah told Rudaw on Saturday.
He was commenting on the Friday clashes that erupted between the Rojava Peshmerga, a force whose members are from Syrian Kurdistan and are under the command of Kurdistan Region, and Shingal Protections Units (YBS) , an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The clashes resulted in a number of casualties on both sides, and has since stopped. He also said that the deployment of the Rojava Peshmerga was not to attack the PKK fighters, repeating the official line that it was there to protect the Yezidi areas from ISIS group. But the situation remains fluid. Here is an edited version of the interview.Rudaw: The YBS [Shingal Protections Units] troops are not from outside Shingal. They are from this town, this area. Those who are there are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK); they are close to the PKK. But they are from this place. Is it appropriate to expel people who come from Shingal?Omed Sabah
: All these entities, namely YBS and so on, are all PKK armed forces. They all originate from PKK’s ideology. They are all PKK fighters. They think within the framework of PKK ideology. Their behavior is driven by PKK ideology, too, and they take orders from the PKK. This is clear. Having a few members from Shingal does not legitimize them to stay there.The Kurdistan Region didn’t invite the PKK. The PKK themselves came, rescued people, and liberated the area. Why should you tell them that they should leave the area and have no right to stay there now that situations have stabilized there, while they are people from this area?
It is not the way you put it. They are not from there. How does a military force get legitimacy here? They should first be within the framework of Kurdistan Region’s armed forces. The force that is there is not within this framework. Second, the force should obtain agreement and acceptance from people of the area. Did you see all these statements that all the people from Shingal are saying that this force should leave the area? The Yezidi Mir, Yezidi Spiritual Council, Shingal’s mayoral council, and the Nineveh provincial council.The PKK is based in Makhmur, Kirkuk area, and in other places, too. Why should they leave from here, but not in other places? Why do you sell them a fight from here [Shingal], but in other places?
The issue is very different. The difference is that the camp they have in Makhmur was opened according to a resolution passed by the United Nations. They were based there on humanitarian rather than military grounds. And yet their conduct in Makhmur is illegal and irresponsible.It is alleged that military forces have been deployed to Makhmur in two directions. Is this true?
I don’t have information on this subject. There have been no statements from the general command of the armed forces. In addition, it is normal to have movements, if there are any. People’s agreement and acceptance of a military force somewhere is another source of legitimacy for the force. The PKK forces in Shingal are neither within the framework of the general command of Kurdistan Region’s armed forces nor do they possess acceptance and agreement of the indigenous people of this place, and the statements issued testify this.In your statement today, you say that this is Peshmerga movement of forces, and the Ministry of Peshmerga, too, the Peshmerga forces are engaged with the process of exchanging positions in the town of Sinune. But Colonel Qadir Shekh Mami who is a commander in the Rojava Forces, in an interview with Anadolu News Agency, said that they wanted to move toward Khanasur, [only to move forces]. This is on the day of the war, 3 March. Whereas a day before that, this casts doubt on your entire statement, Colonel Mami spoke to Anadolu: “Roj Peshmerga forces have moved to the gates of the area to conduct an operation to clear Khanaswr from PKK fighters and YPG. We are awaiting more forces and orders from our superiors.” This is one day before the war which erupted the day after. Who issued the order to fight?
You referred to three statements which were from Kurdistan Region’s Presidency, Ministry of Peshmerga and frontline commanders. These are official statements which all state that it was Peshmerga’s exchange of position. You refer to the statement of one of the commanders to destroy and invalidate all the official statements. This shouldn’t be done in journalism. You should rely on official statements in order to see the real picture of the events.http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/050320173
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