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Erdogan threatens to launch military operation against PKK in Iraq’s Sinjar 

January 23, 2021 at 11:20 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey on 15 January 2021 [TUR Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday threatened that his country might launch a joint operation with Iraq to clear PKK terrorists out of the Sinjar region, Anadolu Agency reported.

“Turkey is always ready to carry out joint operations against the PKK with Iraq but we cannot openly announce the date for such operations,” Erdoğan told reporters following Friday prayer in Istanbul’s historic Üsküdar district.

His remarks came in response to a question about a potential joint counterterrorism operation in the Sinjar region to crack down on the PKK terrorist organisation.

“We may come there overnight, all of a sudden,” Erdogan added, using a famous phrase he previously uttered before Turkey carried out cross-border operations in northern Syria.

The Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper disclosed that the PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014, on the pretext that it was protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh.

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Since then, the newspaper added, the PKK has reportedly established a new base in the area for its logistical and command-and-control activities, in addition to its main headquarters in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited Iraq earlier this week to hold a series of meetings with top Iraqi officials, confirming that Turkey was ready to provide assistance to Baghdad and Erbil to end the presence of the PKK.

On 9 October, 2020, Baghdad and Erbil signed an agreement to maintain security in Sinjar by the Federal Security Forces in cooperation with the forces in Kurdistan.

The agreement stipulates ending the existence of the PKK in Sinjar and cancelling the role of all other related entities in the region.

On 21 November, 2020, the implementation of the agreement started with the deployment of federal forces in the area.