Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite special forces unit of the Revolutionary Guards' overseas operations, the Quds Force, met with senior PKK leader Cemil Bayık in the province of Suleymaniyah in Iraq, a source told Basnews, a web-based news outlet closely affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
According to Basnews, the unnamed source indicated that Maj. Gen. Soleimani has demanded that PKK terrorists stationed in the district of Sinjar be included in the Mosul operation, telling the PKK leader Bayık that financial and military support would be provided if the PKK participates.
Meanwhile, KDP deputy Shahevan Abdullah, also a member of the Security and Defense Commission of the Iraqi Parliament, said they will strike PKK forces if they attempt to leave the mountains in Sinjar and head to Mosul, asserting that, "The same decision will be applied to the People's Mobilization Forces (PMF) or Hashd al-Shaabi militias." Abdullah also said that the Iranian-backed, extremist paramilitary organization Hashd al-Shaabi, the PKK and Iran share the same agenda in Iraq. "A few days ago, military experts from Iran visited the front lines of the Mosul operation and came together with Hashd al-Shaabi leaders. It is obvious that Iran is using the PKK to fulfill its own agenda and to create hostility against Turkey. There is clear evidence which proves that the PKK is receiving financial support from Hashd al-Shaabi," Abdullah stated.
Shiite paramilitary organizations have long threatened Iraqi stability, evoking as much fear among locals as the Daesh terrorist organization. There have been numerous extremist Shiite militias in Iraq, most of which are under the control of extremists who are believed to be affiliated with Iranian authorities. Functioning as an umbrella organization for more than 150,000 Shiite militants, these paramilitary organizations have committed massacres against Sunni Muslim citizens, academics and scholars in "revenge" killings taken on Daesh. The Badr Corps, Mahdi Army, Army Mukhtar and Al Abbas Brigade are the largest extremist organization operating in Iraq under the leadership of Shiite scholars.
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