There are strong relations between the PKK terror group and Hashd al-Shaabi militias, Chief of General Staff of Peshmerga Forces Cemal Eminki said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Eminki made statements regarding the cooperation between the PKK and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary groups. "Nearly 1,000 militants belonging to the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) in Sinjar, which carried out its activities under the guidance of the PKK leadership, have been fighting under the same roof with Hashd al-Shaabi militias and have been receiving their salaries from them," Eminki said, adding that the PKK-linked group also likely obtained weapons from the Shiite militants.
Eminki asserted that Tehran designates the Sinjar region as a bridge for its project of "creating a Shia crescent through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon." "There won't be a road opening to Syria in the areas liberated by the peshmerga in Iraq. We will not allow PKK and Hashd al-Shaabi militants to swarm this region," he said.
Eminki also said that the Daesh threat is not completely eliminated in the region, adding that peshmerga forces take additional security measures against the terror group.
In a photo circulating in social media in late May, Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite special forces unit of the Revolutionary Guards' overseas operations, the Quds Force, was seen with Hashd al-Shaabi militants in the Sinjar region, near the Iraqi-Syrian border. His presence in the area together with Shiite militants added fuel to the discussions of links between the PKK and Hashd al-Shaabi.
Previously, Kurdish media outlet Basnews alleged that Soleimani met with senior PKK leader Cemil Bayık in the province of Suleymaniyah in Iraq, and 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.