It is clear that Barzani sees the PKK as a threat to Kurdish unity all over the region and not only a menace for Turkey. Barzani feels the PKK has set its sights not only on Turkey but now also on Syria and on Iraq and is determined to prevent this
Those who were thought that there would be a grand Kurdish state on our southern borders must now be having second thoughts as the Iraqi Kurds are now saying loudly that they do not want the PKK in their territory anymore. The PKK and Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have been at odds for decades since the day the PKK moved its militants into northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains exploiting the volatile situation created first by the Iran-Iraq war and then by the First Gulf War. When the PKK moved into northern Iraq it attacked and destroyed several Kurdish villages especially in the areas controlled by the KDP. That has set a blood feud that has never been solved. Then in the 1990s, Turkish army units and the KDP peshmerga fighters launched about two dozen attacks on the PKK bases in the Qandil Mountains but failed to dislodge the militants. In the process, 3,000 Peshmerga soldiers lost their lives and since then Masoud Barzani has been saying that such military operations are useless and the PKK issue should be resolved with dialogue between Turkey and the PKK.That is why the KDP and Masoud Barzani have been so staunchly supporting the peace and reconciliation process started between Turkey and the Kurdish militants of Turkey. However, in the past decade the PKK has been trying to spread its influence in northern Iraq's Kurdish territory much to the disadvantage of the KDP. The PKK has been spreading word that the KDP and the Barzanis are corrupt and that only the PKK supports the rights and economic wellbeing of the ordinary Kurds. On the other hand, the crisis in Syria has created more divisions among the Kurds than actually uniting them. The PKK has pushed its own fighters into Syria thus becoming a party in the whole mess and with the help of Basher Assad it has gained control of the areas close to the Turkish border through the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its fighting units the People's Protection Units (YPG). Despite this, Barzani's Peshmergas entered northern Syria through Turkey with the blessing of Ankara and helped the PKK or YPG to flush out the attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants in Kobani. Once the mission was accomplished and Kobani was saved the Peshmerga units were withdrawn.The YPG forces in return sent fighters into Iraq to fight against ISIS in the Sinjar province and helped the Peshmerga and local forces defeat ISIS. However, once in Sinjar the YPG fighters have settled down and are not leaving the area much to the discomfort of Barzani whose son Masrour Barzani said in a recent interview that YPG should leave the area and go back to Syria just as the Peshmerga forces did in Kobani. Masrour Barzani who is the head of the Kurdish Region Security Council has also said the PKK should be out of the Qandil Mountains and has also underlined the fact that the Kurds do not want to sell their oil through Syria but that they want to use the pipeline through Turkey.
It is clear that Barzani sees the PKK as a threat to Kurdish unity all over the region and not only a menace for Turkey. Barzani feels the PKK has set its sights not only on Turkey but now also on Syria and on Iraq and is determined to prevent this. Contrary to the beliefs of some misinformed Turks, Washington holds Barzani and Jalal Talabani in high esteem and has not written off Barzani as they sometimes claim on Turkish TV. So it would be wise to for Turkish decision makers to keep all these facts in mind and never forget that we have friends over there who can be trusted and who will make a difference at the end of the day.