Ankara and Arbil discuss jihadist threat

Ankara and Arbil discuss jihadist threat

Ankara and Arbil discuss jihadist threat

Hundreds of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters traveled yesterday from camps in Kandil to the clash zone near Mosul, DHA reported.

Turkish officials and Iraqi Kurds have discussed the escalating threat posed by the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) in the neighboring country, as the jihadist group has been extending control in northwestern Iraq, forcing thousands of Iraqi citizens to leave their homes.

The political and security repercussions of an attack on the Sinjar region and clashes between jihadists and the peshmarga, accompanied by Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters from northern Syria (Rojava), were on the agenda of a phone conversation between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani late Aug. 4.

Turkey is maintaining discussions with all parties to ensure the stability of Iraq, Davutoğlu said.

“With security and requirements of our Turkmen brothers at the forefront, we are making efforts for the well-being of all Iraqi people, including Kurds, Yezidis and Arabs,” Davutoğlu posted on his Twitter account yesterday.

Barzani and Davutoğlu discussed developments in Sinjar (also referred to as Şengal), Turkey’s humanitarian assistance for Iraqi Turkmens and the political process of Iraq, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

Turkey and KRG officials are in close dialogue over the threat posed by ISIL that has led to thousands of Iraqi citizens leaving their homes. Iraqi Kurds also offered to share intelligence with Ankara about 49 Turkish nationals taken hostage by the jihadist group.

Meanwhile, peshmarga forces opened a corridor into Sinjar so that fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could arrive to battle ISIL, Doğan News Agency reported.

70 percent of humanitarian aid reached Turkmens

On the humanitarian side, Turkey’s disaster agency AFAD and KRG officials are coordinating to supply humanitarian assistance to displaced Iraqi Turkmens, who had to flee the city of Tal Afar when ISIL launched an offensive on June 9. The aid supplied by Turkey was eventually delivered by Iraqi Kurdish authorities.

“Seventy percent of the humanitarian aid supplied by Turkey has reached Turkmens,” a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News when asked about claims that some of the aid had been seized by the KRG and not delivered to Turkmen groups.

Ankara is also in close dialogue with the KRG about the urgent need to form a new Iraqi government in light of April’s parliamentary elections.