PKK commander: We will always be with the Yazidis

Cemil Bayik, REUTERS/Stringer

The co-leader of the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), Cemil Bayik, has said that all Kurds must support and help defend the Yazidis as “the annihilation of Yazidisi means the annihilation of Kurdish identity”.

“In these times, our Yazidi people should know that they are not alone. We are with them. Just as we defended them when ISIS [Islamic State] attacked, whoever attacks the Yazidi people will find us in the way. This is an ethical, humanitarian and national responsibility for us.”

Speaking to the Kurdish Firat News Agency (ANF), the Kurdish commander said, “All Kurds must support the Yazidis. To defend the Yazidis is to defend humanity. The annihilation of the Yazidis means the annihilation of the Kurds. The Yazidis are the roots of the Kurds.”

“ISIS was going to take control of the whole of Shingal. This would have been shameful for the Kurds. The PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] stopped this from happening and defended the Yazidis. Today, the Yazidis are forming their system with their own will, identity and values,” Bayik stated.

Bayik also analysed developments in the region: “today there is a huge war in the Middle East. The old status quo has been demolished and the new status of the region has not been established yet; everyone is fighting with their own interests in mind.”

Bayik said that the demolition of the status quo in the region was a positive development for the Kurdish people as the Kurds had suffered most from this system.

“However, the Turkish state has constructed its foreign policy in the region on anti-Kurdish sentiment. It is not refraining from expressing this on a daily basis. This is why it is contemplating on how it can damage Kurdish unity and how it can provoke infighting between the Kurds?’ the KCK co-leader added.

Earlier this month clashes erupted between peshmerga forces allied to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of the Kurdish Regional Government and Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in the Khanasor neighbourhood of Shingal.

The KCK co-leader called upon the KDP to withdraw its affiliated forces from the regions where clashes took place in order to prove that it is not serving Turkish policy and interests in the region.

Bayik criticised the out-of-term president of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masoud Barzani’s recent trip to Ankara saying, “In a time like this Mr. Barzani went to Turkey. This visit benefited [president] Erdogan. We’re not against him visiting Turkey. However, his visit is a sign of support for Erdogan and for his referendum campaign. If Erdogan wins the referendum, this will mean a rise in anti-Kurdish policies in Turkey. How can Mr. Barzani support this policy?”

The PKK is part of the KCK system, which also includes the Syrian Kurdish PYD and other political parties and armed groups from Kurdish regions in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.