PKK to withdraw from Sinjar, senior PKK figure says

PKK to withdraw from Sinjar, senior PKK figure says

PKK to withdraw from Sinjar, senior PKK figure says A senior figure from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has said the group will withdraw its forces from the Sinjar district near Mosul in northern Iraq. 

Murat Karayılan, a senior PKK figure, said the group is currently in negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the issue, Rudaw reported.

“The period we are in is an important period in which the fate of our people will be determined. At such a time, the unity of the Kurdish people is more valuable than ever. We take this issue in a strategic way. Therefore we want to solve all existing problems with dialogue,” Karayılan said, adding that there was no need for Arbil to use the threat of force with regard to the presence of his militants in Sinjar because such issues could only be solved through dialogue.

Karayılan’s remarks came after Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani’s statements on the issue. 

“The PKK presence is preventing people from returning to their homes. They are hesitating to return for fear of renewed conflict, out of concern as to what uncertain future awaits them and not because, as some allege, that we are the ones stopping them from reclaiming their lives, their homes. We share their concerns, and this is why we strongly believe that the PKK must leave Sinjar,” Barzani had told internet news site Al-Monitor in an interview.

Upon a question on whether Barzani would resort to military force to push the PKK out of Sinjar, he said he would.

Karayılan said the PKK was ready to leave the area at the conclusion of the talks, adding that this was the first time he revealed to the media that there were such talks between the PKK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).