PKK forces in Sinjar. Photo: Rudaw video
By Hevidar Ahmed and Sarbaz Syamand
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has reportedly reached an agreement with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for a peaceful pullout of the PKK’s armed wing, the HPG, from the once savaged town of Sinjar, according to a source close to the PKK.
“The PKK and the Kurdistan Region have reached an agreement on pulling out the forces of the People’s Defence Force (HPG) from Sinjar,” Mohammed Amin Penjweni, a figure close to the PKK, told Rudaw.
Penjweni also said that only forces made up from locals will stay in Sinjar to protect the town’s Yezidi population. “Only the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and the Yezidi Women's Units (YJE) forces will remain – forces comprised of Sinjar’s Yezidi population tasked with protecting the Yezidi Kurds of the region. Dialogue and negotiations are ongoing between the two.”
The KRG’s spokesperson confirmed that they have received a positive response from the PKK on the question of the withdrawal of their forces from Sinjar. “The only thing left to be discussed is mechanisms whereby the PKK forces could leave Sinjar,” Safeen Dizayee said.
Dizayee also expressed gratitude for the PKK in assisting the Peshmerga forces during the fight against ISIS in the region.
The issue of the PKK’s pullout from Sinjar officially emerged at a conference on the independence of the Kurdistan Region held in December last year at the American University of Kurdistan in Duhok when the KRG Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani stressed that, “The PKK should leave Sinjar. Today’s presence of the PKK in Sinjar causes instability in the region.”