PKK: Peshmerga attack in Shingal is continuation of Yazidi massacre by Islamic State

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has accused Ankara of being behind the recent clashes between peshmerga affiliated to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units.

Turkish troops are stationed, against the will of Baghdad, in the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq where they have been training local fighters under the pretext of participating in the recapture of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group.

The PKK statement, released on Tuesday, claimed that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani’s recent visit to Ankara signalled at a joint preparation by the two administrations to deploy peshmerga in Shingal.

The statement said the attacks carried out by the peshmerga against the local self-defence units were a continuation of the Yazidi genocide initiated by the Islamic State (IS) in August 2014. “Those who ran away from Daesh [IS] on 3 August [2014] are now returning in order to strike those who rescued Shingal,” the statement said referring to the controversy that arose when PKK fighters opened up a corridor for the tens of thousands of Yazidis fleeing the area from IS after KDP peshmerga had retreated from the town.

The statement claimed the attack on Friday was part of a series of attacks by the Turkish Armed Forces including operations carried out in Manbij and Afrin in Syria, and Nusaybin and Lice in Turkey.

“The KDP is being used as a tool in the attempt to sabotage the Raqqa and Mosul operations against Daesh [IS] through attacks on Manbij and Shingal in particular,” the statement read.

US Central Command head had also previously suggested that attacks by Turkey and its allied FSA groups in the northern Syrian city of Manbij could have a negative impact on the campaign to capture the IS stronghold of Raqqa.