The Wrath of Erdogan: Sinjar’s Kurdish Liberators Go Underground

Iraq (Sputnik) – Turkey is reportedly preparing another air operation in Iraq’s Sinjar area, in a bid to destroy the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s communication channel between Syria and Iraq.

After the town of Sinjar was liberated from Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), the Sinjar Resistance Forces, which are part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), retained their presence in the city and suburbs, where they established a military base.

Ankara, for its part, claims that the PKK is actively using the area between Sinjar and the village of Hanesor in order to deploy militants from Iraq to northern Syria, where it has been gaining ground against Daesh terrorists.

In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Xelil Sivan, the press secretary of Peshmerga units in Sinjar said that “PKK fighters are concerned over the looming Turkish air operation, which is why they dug five underground tunnels in Sinjar.”

“Currently, PKK fighters remain inside these tunnels which are located both in Sinjar and its outskirts. We have heard that the Turkish armed forces are preparing for a new air operation, but we do not have more specific information on the issue,” Sivan said.

Currently, Sinjar is ruled by the Iraqi Kurdistan Administration, with Peshmerga forces based in the town and nearby villages. Sinjar was liberated by Peshmerga units along with the PKK and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Daesh in November 2015.

On April 25, Turkish jets struck YPG positions in northern Syria and Iraq, killing about 70 Kurdish fighters, causing consternation and confusion around the globe.

Peshmerga soldiers watch as a British instructor demonstrates how to decontaminate their gas mask during a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense class near Erbil, Iraq – By Spc. Jessica Hurst – Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

In Iraq, the Turkish planes bombed Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Sinjar region. In Syria, the air strikes targeted YPG positions in the Karachok Mountains in the northeast of the country.

In Washington, the State Department said it was “deeply concerned” by the air strikes, which were not authorized by the US-led coalition of which Turkey is a member.

Russian officials responded by condemning the Turkish air strikes against the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey, however, claimed that the airstrikes were aimed at preventing the Kurdish fighters from sending terrorists and weapons to Turkey.

This report prepared by Sputnik