Forces affiliated with the PKK terrorist organization attacked Iraqi military forces in the city of Sinjar, in Mosul, northern Iraq on Sunday.
PKK-linked Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) clashed with the military and set a tank on fire, according to a statement by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Two people were injured in the clashes and the Iraqi military retreated from the area, Anadolu Agency (AA) cited the statement as saying.
The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than four decades and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
The PKK terrorist group often hides out in northern Iraq, just across Turkey's southern border, where it plots terrorist attacks against Turkey. The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long stressed that it will not tolerate terrorist 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 were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.
Although an agreement was signed between the Iraqi government and the KRG on Oct. 9, 2020, which stipulated ending the PKK's presence in Sinjar, the terrorist organization has stepped up its activities.
The Sinjar deal, signed under the auspices of the United Nations, envisages clearing the region of PKK terrorists.
The PKK established a base in Sinjar in mid-2014, under the pretext that it was fighting against Daesh to protect the local Yazidi community. However, rather than providing protection for the Yazidis, the PKK terrorists ended up forcefully recruiting their children, torturing the locals and disrupting educational and health services. The Yazidis, in return, have staged demonstrations to protest the oppression, demanding that the Iraqi central government and the KRG wrest control from the terrorists.
The KRG and PKK have had an on-and-off relationship, as the former had enforced a unilateral economic blockade against the YPG-led administration. Their relations seemed to have improved slightly following Turkey’s cross-border counterterrorism operations in northern Syria. While the KRG had previously called the PKK's presence in Sinjar “unacceptable” and urged the terrorists to leave the area, the administration also sent medical aid to the YPG in northern Syria at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.