Head of the government of the Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani revealed on Wednesday that the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist organisation had brought additional forces from Syria and did not leave the district of Sinjar in the Nineveh governorate.
This came in a press conference held in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, two months after signing an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil to solve the existing problems in the Sinjar district, one of the disputed areas.
Barzani confirmed: "The PKK fighters and other armed groups did not leave Sinjar, as Baghdad claims. They returned in disguise and brought additional forces from Syria."
Last Thursday, Spokesman for the Iraqi Army Operations Command Major General Tahseen Al-Khafaji announced in a statement to the official news agency that all armed factions had left Sinjar.
Barzani added: "The presence of PKK fighters in the border area with Turkey has prevented the reconstruction of 800 villages within the Kurdistan Region, as well as the displacement of the residents of about 130 other villages."
He continued: "The PKK is changing the names of the border regions, and presents itself as an alternative to the Kurdistan Region's authority."
Barzani expressed: "We oppose any fighting between Kurdish parties, but this does not mean that we will remain silent. We will stand in the face of any force that attempts to destabilise the security of our people."
He explained that the Sinjar Agreement has not yet been implemented, stating: "We are waiting for Baghdad to initiate the implementation procedures."
There was no immediate comment from the federal government in Iraq on Barzani's statements.
On 9 October, the government in Baghdad headed by Mustafa Al-Kadhimi signed an agreement with Erbil to solve the existing dispute in Sinjar district.
According to the agreement, security in the district will be guaranteed by the federal security forces in coordination with the forces of the Kurdistan Region, and all illegal armed groups will be expelled from the district.
The agreement also provides for ending the presence of the PKK terrorist organisation in Sinjar and abolishing any role for its loyalist factions.
The PKK had established a foothold in the Nineveh governorate when Daesh invaded the region in the summer of 2014, and founded the so-called Sinjar Resistance Units.