In response to the killing of its members at the hands of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Ministry of Peshmerga in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement it is always the people who pay the price.
The KRG accused the PKK of causing multiple losses to the region due to such operations.
The ministry stressed it will allow neither Kurdistan nor its people to fall prey to the PKK’s erroneous policy.
The Biden administration condemned the PKK attack on the peshmerga forces and described it as “brutal” at a time when the Iraqi government vowed a just punishment is in store for whoever sheds Iraqi blood.
Military clashes between the PKK and Turkish forces this year inside Kurdistan have resulted in the displacement of 1,500 citizens and the evacuation of 22 villages. Since 1995, the Shiladze region alone has witnessed the evacuation of over 85 villages.
In the 1990s, Turkey-PKK fighting spilled over into fighting involving the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Turkish military operations against the PKK in northern Iraq are ongoing, and Ankara announced April 23 the start of a new series of attacks targeting PKK strongholds and its members in Kurdistan, specifically in the cities of Dahuk and Erbil.
Ankara launched the joint Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt operations, thus inferring that ground and air forces are taking part in the Turkish operations that include various areas about 40 kilometers into Iraqi territory, most notably Amedi, Zakho, Mateen, Avashin, Bassian, Kistah, Zab, Barwari, Shaladzi and Derluk, in addition to the Qandil Mountain range. PKK militants are active in those areas, from which they carry out frequent attacks against Turkish forces.
The 80 Forces of the KDP and 70 Forces of the PUK are among the main formations in the Ministry of Peshmerga. Kurdish security expert Giyath Surji said the PKK only targeted the 80 Forces.
Repin Salam, a prominent KDP member, told Al-Monitor the peshmerga will militarily intervene to defend the Kurdistan Region in the event it faces a fait accompli, in conjunction with the developments in the Turkish conflict with the PKK inside Kurdistan, in the wake of the killing of a group of its members.
Salam likens the PKK to a “security company,” as it exploits the security and military vacuum in any Kurdish region, takes the region, violates the sanctity and sovereignty of its residents, and succumbs to the orders of regional countries.
He said the PKK presence inside Kurdistan Region territory is rejected at the government and popular levels.
In his statements to Al-Monitor, Salam also accused Turkish forces of occupying parts of Iraqi Kurdistan territory.