Rival Kurdish Forces Clash in Sinjar: Two Journalists Injured

March 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Sinjar district. March 3, 2017. Sinjar Communities Units (KCK), a Yazidi armed group alleged to be close to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Clashes broke out between two Kurdish forces in Sinjar, leaving casualties behind; meanwhile, life of civilians who have recently returned home is at risk.

The clashes started at 7 o’clock local time on Friday morning, and it took place in Snuny sub-district in Sinjar region. The clashes were between Rojava Peshmerga, close to Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sinjar Communities Units (KCK), a Yazidi armed group alleged to be close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Colonel Muhammad (Abu Juan), a commander of the Rojava Peshmerga forces told KirkukNow that, “Last night, both sides moved their force; we started firing because YBS prevented us from entering Khanasor, a district located in the northwestern of Sinjar.

Rojava forces have been trained by Zeravani forces in the past few years and alleged to be loyal to Kurdistan Democratic Party.

In the fight, both forces used light and medium weapons against each other, and there are casualties from both sides.

Abu Juan said, “We want to inter the sub-district.”

Sinjar district, Snuny. March 3, 2017. Clashes between Rojava Peshmerga andSinjar Communities Units.

Colonel Gifian, commander of the HPG forces which KCK is a part of told KirkukNow, “huge military troops wanted to enter the city, but our forces have confronted them and blocked them from entering.”

“Rojava force fired first, we will not allow Sinjar to be retaken again,” Gifian said.

He accused the Peshmerga forces (of Iraqi Kurdistan Region) for taking the side of Rojava forces, “”We are fighting not only with the Rojava force but also with the Peshmerga forces (of Kurdistan Region) too,” Cifian said.

Meanwhile Halgurd Hikmat, the spokesman for the Ministry of Peshmerga confirmed that the Peshemrga forces in Snuny, “were in the normal process of replacing units when a PKK-affiliated group stopped them and opened fire on Peshmerga.”

“We announce that the Kurdistan Peshmerga forces are free to move anytime and anywhere on Kurdistan soil to replace its forces, and won’t take permission from anyone,” Halgurd said.

Snuny sub-district is located in North West of Sinjar. It is 120 km from the north western part of Mosul. The majority of its population is from Yazidis (Ezidis), and it is also part of “disputed territories”.

Abu Juan told KirkukNow that, “The citizens have not left their homes. If it happens, they may want to go to a safer place.”

Colonel Qadir Shekh Mame, commander of the Rojava force said, “The KCK forces have placed basis between Snuny and Khanasor, and KCK forces prevented us from entering the city. We were in dialogue to solve the problem, but it did not help.”

Colonel Gifian, the commander of KCK said that they are not the reason for the conflicts, “this development came after the visit of Massud Barzani (president of Kurdistan Region) to Turkey. This fighting might be an order from Turkey. If we are attacked, we will use the right to self-defense.”

The PKK and KDP relations are tense after Sinjar was retaken from ISIS. The two parties have big political differences between them since Sinjar has been retaken.

The KDP and the PKK have established their military power that is attached to them among the Yazidis (Ezidis). No consensus has been reached on the administration of Sinjar

Earlier, the Yazidis (Ezidis) spoke to Kirkuk Now, stressing that the tension between the KDP and the PKK would harm them and the tension between them is the reason why some of the Yazidis (Ezidis) do not return to their places.

Two Journalists who work for the PKK-affiliated media outlets were injured in the clashes. Nozhian Arhan, the woman reporter for Roj News and Karim Xalty, reporter for the Chra TV were injured and later taken to hospital for treatment.

Even though, the clashes ended, there are fears that it might happen again. Meer Tahsin Bag, the temporal leader of the Yazidi (Ezidi) community  urged the conflicting parties to end the enmity and start dialogue instead.

The Islamic State (ISIS) took control of Sinjar in September 2014. In November 2015, Peshmerga, Yazidi (Ezidi) warriors, and PKK fighters with the coalition air support were able to retake the town from ISIS.




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