The PKK terrorist group, whose presence in northern Iraq has been made difficult due to Turkish security forces’ operations and the implementation of the Sinjar deal, targets the region’s sources of income in order to weaken the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
While the Iraqi central government and the KRG announced last week that the Sinjar deal, inked between Baghdad and Irbil in October under the auspices of the United Nations, has been put into practice, the PKK’s new strategy seems to be disrupting relations and coordination between the central and regional governments, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) report. Preventing the effective implementation of the deal, the PKK aims to maintain its presence and activity in the region.
On Oct. 9, the Iraqi prime minister's office announced it reached a "historic deal" with the KRG, an agreement that will bolster the Iraqi federal authority in Sinjar under the constitution in terms of governance and security.
The Iraqi prime minister's spokesperson, Ahmed Mulla Talal, said in a Twitter statement that the agreement will end the authority of intruding groups in Sinjar, referring to the PKK.
The next day, the Iraqi parliament also said the settlement agreement between the Iraqi government and Iraq's KRG on the status of the Sinjar district will accelerate the return of displaced people.
It was recently reported that some residents have begun to return to their homes in the region and steps for putting Sinjar’s administration under the full control of the KRG have been taken. Within the context of the deal, efforts for a new administration model in Sinjar also continue along with ongoing regulations to provide a stable environment in the region. All these developments have put PKK’s presence and activity in the region in a difficult situation for the group.
In order to block the implementation of the deal and to stop the return of local people, the PKK has started to target the region’s sources of income, local sources told AA.
It was also reported that Turkish security forces’ intense cross-border anti-terror operations targeting northern Iraq have delivered a huge blow to the group.
The PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014 under the pretext of protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh. Since then, the PKK has reportedly established a new base in Sinjar for its logistical and command-and-control activities. Around 450,000 Yazidis escaped Sinjar after Daesh took control of the region in mid-2014.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) regularly conduct 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.