At least one Peshmerga soldier was killed in a firefight with PKK terrorists in northern Iraq's Duhok province, local sources told Anadolu Agency (AA) late Sunday.
The incident occurred when PKK terrorists traveling in a vehicle refused to stop at a checkpoint manned by Peshmerga forces in the Amedi district.
After crossing the checkpoint, the terrorists opened fire on the Peshmerga forces, leading to an exchange of fire between the two sides. Three PKK terrorists were severely wounded.
The Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recently deployed some 6,000 security forces near the Sinjar area in a blow to the PKK terrorist group and the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Front - PMF) militants.
The Baghdad and Irbil administrations took the first step to eliminate the presence of PKK terrorists from the area where they established a second quasi-base beside their main headquarters in the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq.
The Sinjar deal, inked under the auspices of the U.N. in October between the central government in Baghdad and the KRG on the status of the region, envisages clearing the region of the PKK terrorists.
However, Sinjar District Governor Mahma Halil said last week that there is no sign of withdrawal by PKK terrorists from the northern Iraqi district, adding that they are joining the Hashd al-Shaabi instead.
“Majority of PKK terrorists joined Hashd al-Shaabi. A group of terrorists might be infiltrated into Tal Afar and Kirkuk as well,” Halil said.
The KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani confirmed reports, saying that the PKK terrorists have not withdrawn from the Sinjar district and have only retreated to the mountains.
The PKK terror group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in 2014 under the pretext of protecting the Yazidi community from the Daesh terror group. Some 450,000 Yazidis fled Sinjar after Daesh took control of the region.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks on Turkey. Iraq's KRG previously called the PKK's presence in Sinjar unacceptable and urged the militants to leave the area.
Turkey has long stressed that it will not tolerate terror threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps are not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terror threats, particularly in Sinjar.