Turkey, PKK, KRG urged to quit Ezidikhan
[Shingal, 22 January 2022] Ezidikhan is emerging as the focus of a colossal chess match between Turkey and Iran. Now the Turkish-Iranian rivalry is escalating upon Iraqi territory.
Ezidikhan Prime Minister Barjis Soso Khalaf today warned “certain outside interests who are jostling for control of Ezidikhan”—meaning Turkey, Iran and the PKK—to “stop raising tensions and leave Ezidikhan to govern itself in accordance within the Iraqi constitution and under international law.”
Prime Minister Barjis Soso Khalaf’s remarks were in reaction to recent moves by Turkey, Kurdistan and Iran that aim to sow doubt and confusion by inviting comparison of Ezidikhan’s autonomous government with the PKK, a designated terrorist organisation.
“The Ezidikhan government’s position has always been that we are against all forms of terrorism—including the PKK variety.”— Ezidikhan Prime Minister Barjis Soso Khalaf
By the grace of Melek Ta’us the Peacock Angel, the Government of Ezidikhan urges the Kurds to leave Yezidis alone and live in peace with Turks and Iranians, just as Yezidis do.— Ezidikhan Prime Minister Barjis Soso Khalaf
The Ezidikhan government’s position has always been that we are against all forms of terrorism—including the PKK variety. The Ezidi people of Shingal are tired of being occupied and forcefully involved in conflicts with our neighbors.
Occupying Ezidikhan both in Iraq and in Syria is clearly in violation of international law. This is a point we hope to make clear to the international community—we are working with the international community to bring to to justice PKK terrorists.
In 2020 the KRG and Turkey conspired to equate the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan with the PKK and present it to the international community as such, which is only a plot by the KRG to break Yezidi autonomy government of Ezidikhan. Such misrepresentations are incredibly dangerous and can only lead to regional conflict, even war over Ezidikhan’s autonomy.
Ankara and Tehran have been warily eyeing each other’s moves in their common neighbor Iraq. Ankara is wary of Iran extending its influence via its allies in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), while Tehran is annoyed that Turkey’s pursuit of PKK militants has led to a protracted Turkish military incursion with de facto buffer zones in the region.
The Shingal Autonomous Administration yesterday called on the international community “to prevent military escalation and to promote solutions based on an autonomous administration in Shingal.”
Over a year after an agreement ordering armed groups to leave the Shingal area, the Iraqi army on January 18 arrested several fighters from a Yazidi armed group operating in the area and confiscated their weapons.
The fighters arrested were from the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), from whom they have received training, weaponry and ideological instruction.
The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
The October 9, 2020, Sinjar agreement was signed between the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), aiming to put an end to disaccord over security arrangements and a lack of public services, in part by bringing in a unified administration.
“Leave Ezidikhan to govern itself in accordance within the Iraqi constitution and under international law.”—Ezidikhan Prime Minister Barjis Soso Khalaf
Observers and locals had long complained that the confusing array of armed groups operating in the area was a major reason why many internally displaced persons had not returned.
“All social leaders in Sinjar & Ezidi spiritual council, called PKK to leave Sinjar (and) stop interfering in Kurdistan Region affairs.”— Dr. Hemn Hawrami
In early December 2021, the Iraqi army deployed to Sinjar following the YBS ordering all Iraqi government institutions except for the police department to shut down. The army and the YBS had clashed and YBS supporters had set fire to a military vehicle.
“The government of Ezidikhan is prepared to charge the PKK with crimes against the Yezidi people.”—Ezidikhan Justice Minister Nallein Sowilo
“The Ezidikhan government has for the past four years been developing its case against the PKK for committing crimes against Yezidis,” said Justice Minister Nallein Sowilo in a statement. “Our government is ready to charge PKK with those crimes against the Yezidi people.”