A Yazidi lawmaker in northern Iraq's Kurdish parliament on Friday warned that the PKK terrorist organization may attempt to involve itself in the upcoming campaign to retake the Daish-held city of Mosul under the guise of Shia militia groups.
"The PKK wouldn't dare to breach Mosul's city center," Sheikh Shamo told Anadolu Agency.
"But it may try to operate with the Hashd al-Shaabi in Tal Afar, which is close to Sinjar [west of Mosul], where it uses the threat posed by Daish as a pretext to stay in the region," he said.
An umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias, the Hashd al-Shaabi hopes to participate in the upcoming Mosul campaign.
Atheel al-Nujaifi, for his part, who served as governor of Nineveh province (of which Mosul is regional capital) from 2009 to 2015, said that Mosul residents would not allow the PKK -- or the Hashd al-Shaabi -- to enter the city.
Al-Nujaifi went on to note that the central government in Baghdad had earlier promised not to include either the PKK or the Hashd al-Shaabi in the campaign to free Mosul.
Shahevan Abdullah, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (led by Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani), said in a statement published on the party's official website that the Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and local tribal would participate in the Mosul campaign, along with groups operating "under the name of the Hashd al-Shaabi".
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Muzahem Ahmed al-Hawayt, a spokesman for the tribes of Mosul, said it would not be possible to include the Hashd al-Shaabi -- or the so-called Sinjar Defense Units, which operate under the Hashd al-Shaabi name -- in the campaign.
"Under no circumstances can the Hashd al-Shaabi or the PKK join the Mosul operation. We consider both to be terrorist groups," he said.
In mid-2014, Daish captured the northern city of Mosul and overran vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by a 60-nation air coalition led by the U.S., retake much territory. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on the city, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to "liberate" by year's end.
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