PKK must not be allowed in Iraq: Kurdish officials
12 Jan 2017 - 11:02
ERBIL, Iraq: Iraqi Kurdish officials on Wednesday said the presence of "Turkey’s enemies" -- in reference to the PKK terrorist group -- should not be allowed to operate on Iraqi territory.
"According to understandings between Turkey and Iraq, the latter should not be harboring the enemies of Turkey," Sahevan Abdullah, an MP for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq’s parliament, said in a statement carried on the party’s website.
Abdullah warned of the potentially adverse effect on Turkish-Iraqi relations if the PKK were allowed to operate in Iraq.
PKK fighters, he said, should withdraw from the town of Sinjar in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province to allow Kurdish Peshmerga forces to secure the area.
Ali Avni, a member of the KDP’s presidential council, said PKK fighters had initially entered Sinjar on the pretext of protecting the town’s Ezidi population from the Daesh terrorist group.
He went on to stress, however, that the PKK had not assisted in military operations -- which remain ongoing -- to clear the region of Daesh terrorists.
"I don’t know what exactly the PKK did in Sinjar… but it didn’t play any role in protecting Sinjar [from Daesh]," Avni said.
"The only reason for the group’s continued presence in Sinjar is to destabilize the region," he added.
Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi, for his part, recently told local media in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region that "outlawed armed groups" -- a reference to the PKK -- would not be allowed to remain in Sinjar.
He went on to assert that "joint forces" comprised of various Iraqi security organs would soon be drawn up in the region.