Turkey to intervene in Sinjar if peshmerga fail: Deputy prime minister
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULDec 27, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 27, 2016 12:00 am
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said the Turkish military could take matters in its own hands if the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) fails to drive the PKK out of Sinjar.
Speaking during a visit to the Turkish border town of Kilis, Kaynak said Ankara hopes the KRG will successfully eliminate the PKK from Sinjar. He, however, affirmed that the Turkish military forces will decide the fate of Sinjar if the KRG cannot.
Pointing out Turkish military operations in northern Iraq and Syria, in line with Turkey's international rights as part of the United Nations agreement, Kaynak said Ankara will not let Sinjar become "another Qandil" for the PKK.
Speaking at a press conferance at the Presidential Complex, Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said that Turkey will not let Sinjar be the second PKK headquarters and issued warnings on the terror group's recent activities in Iraq and Syria. Kalın added that Ankara supports the KRG's stance against the PKK.
Turkey had previously said it will take precautionary measures, including deploying Turkish soldiers, to prevent PKK terrorists from securing a base in northern Iraq.
The KRG has also expressed its unease over the PKK's presence in Sinjar, as a senior official with the KRG said earlier this month, the PKK should leave Sinjar, because the militant group's presence only complicates the situation there.
"This is not a territory where they can establish their rule. They have to respect what the KRG needs to do in the area and to its people, who will eventually run and govern their territory," Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council Masrour Barzani told an audience at the Wilson Center – a Washington, D.C. think tank.
"The presence of the PKK has complicated the situation and we hope that they will eventually come to terms and accept that they need to return to their own places and leave Sinjar," Barzani said.
"The PKK's presence is preventing people from returning to their homes. They are hesitating to return for the fear of a renewed conflict, out of concerns as to what uncertain future awaits them and not because, as some allege, that we are the ones stopping them from reclaiming their lives, their homes. We share their concerns and this is why we strongly believe that the PKK must leave Sinjar," Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the KRG said.
The KRG president said that they were in contact with Baghdad and Washington regarding the issue, but so far the talks have been unfruitful.