PKK Fighters in Sinjar are on Hashd al-Shaabi’s Payroll: Yezidi MP
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PKK Fighters in Sinjar are on Hashd al-Shaabi’s Payroll: Yezidi MP

ERBIL — A Yezidi member of the Iraqi Parliament has argued that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated groups further deteriorate the security and administrative situation in Sinjar as they work in line with foreign agendas and receive funds from the Iran-backed Shia militias of Hashd al-Shaabi. 

MP Mahma Khalil said in an exclusive interview with BasNews that the Yezidis seek peace and prosperity in their homeland, and they have made it clear that the PKK and any other outlawed group or militias outside the control of the state are not welcome in Sinjar. 

[Below is the interview which was translated from Kurdish and edited for clarity and length.] 

BasNews: Why the PKK is still in Sinjar despite the Yezidis calling for its withdrawal? 

MP Khalil: The PKK has invaded the land of Sinjar and it has no plan to leave. It only seeks war and violence. The people of Sinjar have realized that and they made their decision during the last parliamentary elections in Iraq — they refused the illegitimate groups and, instead, they voted for the candidates of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). 

We see these days that the people of Sinjar take to the streets to protest the presence of the PKK because they have come to the conclusion that the PKK is Sinjar to use the region not help the population 

BasNews: Some of the Yezidi families have been displaced again after returning to their homes. Is this an extension to the sufferings of Sinjar? Who is behind this? 

MP Khalil: The PKK is trading Sinjar for its own interests. It definitely is not in Sinjar to help the Yezidis, but to help foreign agendas. It is needless to say that the PKK prolongs the sufferings of the Yezidis and it continues to tighten grip on Sinjar. 

BasNews: The Iraqi Army has called for the withdrawal of the PKK. How about the Hashd al-Shaabi? What is their position in this matter? 

Mahma Khalil: Hashd al-Shaabi supports the PKK in Sinjar. It even provides military equipment and salaries to the members of the group. The militias of Hashd al-Shaabi prevent the Iraqi Army’s move to bring the entire region under the control of the state, which is, in turn, the violation of the Iraqi sovereignty and Constitution. 

What the PKK is planning for is attracting foreign forces and create chaos in Sinjar. This is what we reject. We do not want the Turkish forces to attack Sinjar, and that’s the reason we are calling for the withdrawal of the PKK. 

BasNews: What is the solution then? 

MP Khalil: The best solution to the crisis is the agreement Erbil and Baghdad signed [in October 2020]. But the Iraqi government is not fully determined to implement the deal. Baghdad generally avoids reacting to the dire situation in Sinjar; therefore, we are planning at the parliament to organize an extraordinary session to discuss the situation in the Yezidi areas. 

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