Iraqi Kurdish commander: PKK can't join effort to retake Mosul

Published 04.04.2016 00:00
Updated 04.04.2016 19:43

The PKK terrorist organization cannot participate in an ongoing military operation to recapture Iraq's northern city of Mosul, Ali Avni, a member of northern Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said Monday.

"The PKK has become a dangerous weapon in the region," Avni, who is also a Kurdish peshmerga commander, said.

"They work as contract killers for different countries," he added.

In exclusive comments to Anadolu Agency, Avni dismissed recent claims online that the PKK would join an ongoing Iraqi army offensive to retake Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group.

"We have repeatedly said that both Mosul in the northern Nineveh province and the city of Sinjar are not their [i.e., the PKK's] areas [of operation]," he asserted.

"The PKK is only interested in Sinjar to serve the purposes of Iran and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's government," Avni added.

Avni went on to assert that Iran wanted the PKK to establish control over northern Syria's Rojava region "at any cost".

"Tehran wants to continue providing logistical support to its allies in Damascus and Beirut in order to maintain the PKK's existence in these regions," he said.

Sinjar District Governor Mahma Khalil, for his part, noted that the PKK had been unable to retake the majority-Yazidi city.

"How can the PKK join the operation to retake Mosul when they couldn't even retake Sinjar from Daesh?" Khalil asked.

"These places aren't even in the PKK's area of operations," he added.

On March 24, the Iraqi Defense Ministry announced the launch of a much-anticipated offensive aimed at retaking Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, which was captured by Daesh in 2014.

Since then, the Iraqi army and Sunni forces have struck at Mosul's Mahmur district from three directions, while Kurdish peshmerga forces have played a supporting role in the offensive.

Iraq has been dogged by rampant insecurity since 2014, when Daesh overran Mosul and declared a self-styled "caliphate" in parts of Iraq and Syria.

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