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PM Barzani blames PKK for Turkish strikes on Kurdistan Region

By Rudaw 28/3/2018
The main headquarters of the PKK fighters are based in the Kurdistan Region's Qandil muntain, located between the KRG and Turkey. File photo: AFP
The main headquarters of the PKK fighters are based in the Kurdistan Region's Qandil muntain, located between the KRG and Turkey. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime  Minister Nechirvan Barzani has blamed the Turkish bombing of parts of  the Kurdistan Region on the PKK’s cross-border attacks against Turkey,  saying the group must stop using Kurdish territories for its armed  activities.

Asked about the recent Turkish bombing of Kurdish villages and the  Turkish violation of the Kurdistan Region’s borders, PM Barzani told a  press conference on Wednesday the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is to  blame.

“Why did Turkey violate the border? What is the reason? There should  be a reason,” Barzani said.

“There is a reason why this is happening. That reason must first be  resolved. So long as this reason is not resolved, you cannot talk  about the fallout.”

The PKK, a named terrorist organization by Ankara, is an armed Kurdish  group that has staged a decades-long guerilla war against Turkey since  1984. Their main headquarters is in the Qandil mountains on the border  strip between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region.

“As the Kurdistan Region, we have a principle. Our principle is that  the territories of the Kurdistan Region must in no way be used to  attack, to cause violence against our neighbors. This policy as a  principle stands the same for Turkey, Iran or Syria,” Barzani said.

“We do not accept, nor do we allow the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to be  used to cause violence in those countries.”

The Kurdish premier said his government has tried on many occasions  to convince the PKK to stop attacking Turkey from within the Kurdistan  Region, but that such efforts “unfortunately” failed.

“It is not acceptable for the PKK to launch military operations from  the territories of Kurdistan, and then return to the Kurdistan  Region,” he said.

Turkish fighter jets last week killed four civilians when they  attacked Kurdish villages in Choman, Erbil province. While the PKK is  reported to be present in the wider area, the village targeted by  Turkey did not have a PKK position, locals said at the time.

The PKK vowed to retaliate against the Turkish bombing. 

PM Barzani  also said today he “personally” involved in efforts to convince Turkey  to open its airspace for international flights to and from Sulaimani  International Airport.

Ankara lifted the ban on such flights to Erbil airport last week,  months after it imposed the ban on the Kurdish airports last September  following the Kurdish vote on independence.

Ankara, however, did not lift the ban for Sulaimani airport as it  accused the party in control of the Sulaimani affairs, the Patriotic  Union of Kurdistan (PUK), of “direct coordination” with the PKK.

The PUK, one of the two ruling parties of the Kurdistan Region, last  week strongly condemned the Turkish “aerial terror” against the  Kurdistan Region.

The relationship between the two sides, Ankara and the Sulaimani-based  PUK, were strained following a PKK counter-intelligence operation that  saw two Turkish agents arrested in the city by the PKK last August.

Turkey has threatened a military operation against the PKK in northern  Iraq, but says it will only do so when Baghdad agrees to coordinate  with the Turkish military. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has  said his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim understands there is no  such coordination at the moment.


Kurdi123456 | 28/3/2018
Yup, keep warming up arab legs for your payments tfffffffff
Hama | 28/3/2018
100 % true and very wise words from the prime minister. PKK are to blame for this. Turkey is only in KRG because of PKK. If PKK leaves so will Turkey. PKK cannot attack Turkey, run across the border and expect Turkey not to attack PKK. They are attacking Turkey KNOWING that this will spread the war between PKK/Turkey into KRG. We cannot allow PKK to bring their wars to KRG. KRG has good relations with Turkey and an open border policy that is crucial for KRG's economy and stability. If Turkey closes the border KRG will be isolated and we'll be forced to beg Baghdad for everything. This will mean an end to kurdish autonomy in Iraq. PKK doesn't care. They only are about their own ideology and policies against Turkey- not the consequences for ordinary kurdish people. From the beginning PKK has constantly underminded KRG's authority and refused to take orders from KRG even though they are in KRG's territory. This is why Baghdad and Iran love PKK and allowed them to stay in Shingal while they fought peshmerga. They know PKK are harmful to kurdish autonomy in Iraq and Baghdad and Iran are using PKK to end kurdish autonomy in Iraq. If we don't controle PKK the streets of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah will be full of Haash Shaabi and Iraqi soldiers just like Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu and other disputed areas. Baghdad are using PKK to attack KRG. A shame that only the political parties in Erbil like KDP are smart enough to understand this. It's very clear. Gorran and PUK are full of morons and outright traitors helping Iran destroy KRG one city at a time.
kurd | 28/3/2018
PKK is a disease that has afflicted kurds and kurdistan. PKK is in hands of ayatolahs and shia government in iraq. wake up naive supporters of pkk
Azad Azadi | 30/3/2018
The PKK issue is an excuse for Turkey to attack Kurds. If PKK move out from Kandil and stop all their armed activities in and out of Turkey. Erdogan will make up another excuse like Turkmen’s of Kirkuk/Hawlir been attacked by Kurds or others. Also if no PKK threat, Turkey wouldn’t allow KRG existence at first place. Do you know why KRG doesn’t have a representative office in Turkey, because they don’t recognize it? Turkey don’t refer to Kurdistan Regional Government as its legal name, to them it is Kurdish authority in Northern Iraq. The new Turkish demand is KDP/PUK to attack Kandil. This is a game the Turks has played throughout history, unfortunately they have always been succeeded in their plan of Kurds killing Kurds. I do have a faith in Kurdish leadership not to fall for Erdogan’s game this time. We all need to remember that Turkey is enemy of all Kurds everywhere.
Kurdi | 1/4/2018
Pkk is lion out side turky rats inside it

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