The Chief of General Staff of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Cemal Muhammad, called on the PKK terror group on Friday to immediately withdraw from northern Iraq's Sinjar region.
"PKK should stop dreaming and leave Sinjar immediately. The town belongs to the KRG, the PKK does not have the right to stay there or settle in," Muhammad said, adding that the KRG will not accept the terror group's presence not only in town center but also in the surrounding villages.
Separately, Sinjar Governor Mahma Khalil said PKK terrorists are attacking the Yazidi population in the town and preventing the minority group from returning to their homes. Khalil said: "The citizens refuse to stay in Sinjar due to the PKK presence. The terror group is kidnapping their children and take them to Qandil by force. The Yazidis are in such a difficult situation."
Mt. Qandil has served as a headquarters for the PKK in northern Iraq.
The operation to liberate Mosul from Daesh has seen the PKK move into Sinjar, an area heavily populated by Yazidis that lies around 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Mosul and around 100 km (62 miles) southwest of the Turkish border.
Turkish Foreign Minister previously warned that the PKK is trying to turn Sinjar into Qandil under the pretext of protecting Yazidis as there is no longer a Daesh threat or presence in Sinjar.
The PKK and its Syrian offshoot the PYD are listed as terror groups by Turkey, although the U.S. and EU only view the PKK as a terrorist organization.