Middle East

PKK raises Iraq flag in Sinjar to avert Turkish strikes

Iraqi lawmaker accuses PKK in Sinjar of disguising itself under Iraqi national flag

PKK raises Iraq flag in Sinjar to avert Turkish strikes

By Idris Okuducu


The PKK terrorist group has been raising the Iraqi national flag over buildings in Iraq’s northern Sinjar district in hopes of averting a fresh round of Turkish airstrikes, an Iraqi MP said Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ezidi Iraqi lawmaker Majid Shengali said PKK terrorists had been raising the Iraqi flag over their camps in Sinjar in a novel tactic aimed at protecting themselves.

“Meanwhile, the Hashd al-Shaabi continues to carry out its agenda in the region,” Shengali said.

“They [both the PKK and the Hashd al-Shaabi] are working hand-in-glove in the region,” he asserted. “This new practice of raising the Iraqi flag [over their respective positions] shows the coordination between them.”

He went on urge the central government in Baghdad to formally object to its flag being used by a terrorist group.

The Hashd al-Shaabi is a mostly Shia fighting force that was formally incorporated into the Iraqi military late last year.

On Monday, Kasim Shesho, a Peshmerga commander based in Sinjar, told Anadolu Agency that the PKK had begun evacuating some of its camps in the Mount Sinjar region in advance of a fresh round of possible airstrikes.

On April 25, Turkey carried out several airstrikes against the PKK and its Syrian affiliates -- the PYD/YPG -- in Iraq’s northern Sinjar Mountain region and in northern Syria, killing about 90 terrorists.

The airstrikes were intended to prevent the group from sending terrorists, weapons, ammunition and explosives into neighboring Turkey.

Since 2014, the PKK has maintained a presence in the Sinjar district on the pretext that it is fighting the Daesh terrorist group.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.

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