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  • PKK presence source of problems in Iraq’s Sinjar, Turkish diplomat says

PKK presence source of problems in Iraq’s Sinjar, Turkish diplomat says

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The troubles of northern Iraq’s Sinjar region can be attributed to the PKK terrorist group and its affiliates, Turkey’s Consul General in Irbil Hakan Karaçay told reporters Tuesday.

“The PKK terror group and its extensions under various names are the sources of the problems in the region,” Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted Karaçay as saying. He also said that Turkey is determined to provide various types of humanitarian aid to the displaced Yazidi community, which had suffered through Daesh’s genocidal attacks when the terrorist group took control of significant swathes of the region.

Karaçay visited Iraq’s Duhok province to congratulate the newly elected religious leader of the local Yazidi community, Ali Ilyas.

The envoy said Yazidis escaped Sinjar and took refuge in Duhok after Daesh took control of the region, but the community is unable to return because of attacks and oppression by the PKK and the terror group’s extensions in the region.

Daesh slaughtered more than 3,000 Yazidis, enslaved 7,000 women and girls and displaced most of its 550,000-strong community from their ancestral home in Sinjar.

Iraqi security forces started to implement a deployment plan earlier Tuesday in the center of the Sinjar district to enhance stability and security in the area that will enable those displaced to return home.

“The plan to deploy the security forces in the center of Sinjar has been implemented by the Western Nineveh Force under our Command,” the Iraqi army’s Joint Operations Command said.

“The security forces will continue to provide stability in the district of Sinjar and administratively dependent areas,” the Iraqi military also said.

The Sinjar deal, inked under the auspices of the United Nations in October between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on the status of the region, envisages clearing the region of terrorist groups.

The PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014 on the pretext that it was protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh. Since then, the PKK has reportedly established a new base in the area for its logistical and command-and-control activities.

Turkey has long stressed that it will not tolerate 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 terrorist threats, particularly in Sinjar.

Following the announcement of the deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it hoped the agreement would enable the reinstatement of Iraqi authorities’ control in Sinjar and lead to the eradication of the Daesh and PKK terrorist groups and their offshoots from the region.

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