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MIDEAST >PKK, PYD are the same, Barzani says

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The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has intensified its terror attacks in Turkey, and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (PYD) are exactly the same, according to Masoud Barzani, the head of autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. 

“Any support to the PYD means support for the PKK,” London-based Al-Monitor quoted the KRG leader as saying during an interview, when asked about deepening military ties with the U.S. and the PYG, which fights against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria. 

“They are exactly one and the same thing,” he said.

Al-Monitor interviewed Barzani in the KRG capital of Arbil. 

When asked about if the U.S. believed that the two organizations are the same, “They know very well, but they don’t want to say they know very well. … You know the top priority for us and the Americans is the fight against [ISIL], so they might turn a blind eye,” Barzani said. 

Turkey and the U.S. disagree on defining the PYD as both countries name the PKK a terrorist organization. 

“There is no relation between Mosul and the independence of Kurdistan,” the KRG leader alsb said. 

“The PKK should leave Sinjar, and we want them to leave Sinjar peacefully — not by force,” Barzani also said.

March/23/2016

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