As Turkey is openly preparing for a possible military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the northern Iraqi area of Sinjar, the Kurdish group has announced that it will withdraw its “guerrilla forces” from the area.
However, local PKK-linked security forces will remain in deployed there. According to a PKK spokesman, the security apparatus set up in Sinjar is now strong enough to stand on its own.
“Guerrilla forces intervened in Sinjar in order to rescue the Yazidis from genocide. With the confidence of reaching this goal, guerrillas are withdrawing from Sinjar,” the Firat news agency quoted a statement by the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).
HINT: The KCK is an umbrella group, which includes the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), and the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PCDK).
The PKK has a large camp and HQ in Sinjar Mount. The group intervened in the town of Sinjar in 2014 when ISIS entered the town’s countryside posing a threat to the Yazidi community. Since then, the PKK influence in the area has only expanded under pretext of the combating ISIS and defending Yazidis.
Turkish top officials, including the country’s president Recept Tayyip Erdogan, have repeatedly claimed that Ankara will not tolerate the presence of armed Kurdish groups on the Turkish border. Now, when the YPG stronghold of Afrin [HINT: the YPG is an armed wing of the PYD] is in the Turkish hands, Ankara is considering further actions against the YPG and the PKK in other areas of northern Syria and Iraq.