A scene of Tuesday's demonstration in Khanasour, Shingal region. Photo: ANHA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Ministry of Interior of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) accused the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of causing today’s deadly clashes between the KRG’s Peshmerga forces and pro-PKK protesters.
“The PKK is systematically determined to cause violence and riots in the region,” read a statement from the ministry, adding that the PKK is “bringing in people and armed forces to Shingal region. They continually provoke the KRG forces and try all means to incite confrontations."
“For this purpose, they have been bringing in people and armed forces for several days now from Hasakah, Derk and other places of Syrian Kurdistan [Rojava, northern Syria] to cause problems and violence," the statement added.
“Within that context, today they wanted to attack the formal forces of the government in the area of Khanasoor. But civil police tried to bring the situation under control and prevent clashes.”
The KRG said it holds the PKK responsible for anything that has happened in the area.
“Only the PKK is responsible as it intentionally wants to use some Yezidi brothers as a device for a disgusting plot.”
The statement concluded that the KRG “does not seek the occurrence of any confrontation. We are calling upon the PKK to act wisely.”
One woman was killed and as many as ten others wounded during a protest against the deployment of the Rojava Peshmerga to the Shingal region. Many of the protesters came to Shingal from Rojava, northern Syria, the PKK-linked ANF News reported.
Tensions between the Rojava Peshmerga, a KRG force made up of Kurds from Syria, and the PKK-backed Shingal Protection Units (YBS) sharply escalated earlier this month when the two sides clashed, resulting in several fatalities. Each side accused the other of initiating the conflict.
Naze Naif Qavaland, a resident of Shingal and a member of the council of the Freedom Movement of the Ezidkhan Women (TAJE), was killed in Tuesday’s protest.
The Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E), one of the groups participating in the protest condemned the violence that resulted in Qavaland’s death, describing it as a betrayal of Yezidi society and women, putting them through “yet another massacre,” according to a statement published by ANF News.