By Mazin Majeed Asaad Baqal
ERBIL, Iraq (AA) - Turkey’s target in the Sinjar district is the PKK terror group, Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Masrour Barzani said Wednesday in northern Iraq.
His remarks were delivered during a speech on the Daesh and PKK terror organizations at the Peace and Security in the Middle East Conference at the American University in Duhok.
Asked about Turkish strikes on PKK targets in Mosul’s Sinjar district, Barzani said: “Those, who don’t want Turkey bombing the region, should not also give any reason to Turkey [to bomb].”
“Why these people [PKK] are in Sinjar?” he asked: “In the end, it is the people of Sinjar who pay the price. Because these are happening due to the existence of some elements that came outside of Sinjar.”
Noting the Daesh terror group still pose serious threats in the region, Barzani said: “Daesh has not been defeated. Daesh has lost land but its ideology has not yet been eliminated.”
He said more than a military operation should be conducted in the region as Daesh has thousands of supporters in Iraq and Syria.
In October 2017, the Iraqi government sent federal troops into "disputed" regions between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government -- including Sinjar.
After federal forces moved into Sinjar, the PKK falsely claimed to have withdrawn from the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women, children and infants.
Last year, Turkey’s defense minister said northern Iraq’s Sinjar region will not be allowed to become a new stronghold for the PKK terror group.
"We expect the Iraqi government to cooperate with us in ending the separatist PKK terror group’s presence in Iraqi territories," said Hulusi Akar.