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KRG-PKK-Turkey wage war of words over Shingal

By Rudaw 27/12/2016
The ruined Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Shingal hospital. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
The ruined Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Shingal hospital. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A war of words between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over Shingal is heating up as Turkey has waded into the dispute, adding its voice to those calling on the PKK to leave the predominantly Yezidi area.

The Turkish military will assume responsibility for forcing the PKK to leave Shingal if the KRG does not, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said during a visit to Kilis, a Turkish town on the border with Syria, Daily Sabah reported on Monday. 

Kaynak said Ankara would not allow Shingal to become “another Qandil,” referring to the PKK’s mountain base in northern Kurdistan Region.

ISIS captured Shingal on August 3, 2014, committing genocide against the Yezidi population. The town was liberated in November 2015 by a coalition of Kurdish forces, including KRG Peshmerga and PKK fighters. The PKK has maintained a presence in the area. 

Kurdistan Region leaders have recently stepped up pressure on the PKK to leave the Shingal area, saying that rehabilitation of the town is not possible as long as the PKK remains. 

The people of Shingal are hesitant about their future as long as the PKK is present in the area, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said at a conference in December. As long as the PKK is there, the people of Shingal “do not reconstruct the town. The PKK should understand that and, for the good of the people, they have to leave the region.”

When later asked in an interview with Amberin Zaman published in Al-Monitor if he is considering using military force to expel the PKK, Barzani replied, “Yes, I am.” 

The People’s Defense Forces (HPG), the armed wing of the PKK, responded to Barzani’s threat of military force, pointing out his comments were made “parallel” with comments from Turkish leaders, and said his “provocative” statements intended to “start an inner conflict.”

“History has proven that nobody can push us out of Shingal by use of force,” the HPG Shingal Command said in a statement published by ANF News, which has ties to the PKK.

“Making such a statement targeting our forces in Shingal while remaining silent on the occupation by the Turkish state of many territories in South Kurdistan, harms the Kurdish unity,” the statement read, referring to Turkish security force operations in Kurdish areas of Turkey. “Neither history nor our people will forgive a force that incites an inner conflict during the current process.”


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Azad | 27/12/2016
Peshmerga should thank PKK for the help against ISIS and PKK should leave Shingal and give the control to Peshmerga to slove this issue peacfully. Shingal belongs to KRG and we must now work for statehood in south Kurdistan.
Adel | 27/12/2016
The PKK and Peshmerga should be unite against enemies. However, PKK should give Shingal control to Peshmerge and they should ot allow for Turkey to take this reason to interfere into KRG region.
kurt basar | 27/12/2016
This problem of the Shingal's between the Kurd's created by the lunatic & unstable Turkish president, who is claiming that Turkey is a global power and not only that, now he is accusing the USA supporting of the ISIL savages, who are killers of the USA citizens. I think the way he behave toward his friends and accusations his time is near, seems to me he is going to end up in the Sudi Arabia same as the Uganda's dictator Idi Amin. But they aren't going to let him alone, because he has to face the justice at the internaional court, for burning the Kurdish childrens alive, destroying all of those Kurdish ancient cities and supporting of those ISIL, Al Qaida & Muslim broherhood terrorists.
vlog | 27/12/2016
@Azad but the Peshmerga DID thank the PKK for their help and sacrifice in Shengal and everywhere else, president Barzani and any other leaders went to the front line and personally shook the hand of the PKK commanders, it was all over the news so what more do they want?. The Peshmerga immediately retriated from Kobani when ISIs was driven out according to the understanding, why dose PKK always do this? some in the PKK leadership are so arrogant and pig headed, why are they giving Turkey an excuse to invade Shengal? for pete's sake learn to do a little politics once in a while.
INDEPENDENCE | 27/12/2016
The dispute arises amid a fragmented Kurdish camp without a leadership agreed by all parts.The Kurds sre well a nation but they lack a state of their own.In this fase of fighting for statehood there must be a consensusal leadership , othetwise they are bound to confront with each other,which will not help to create the Kurdish State. Partisan ambitions and ideologies should not interfere ,the common strife for independence.,' and should be left for election time after independence and not before.

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