Clashes erupted between peshmerga forces allied to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of the Kurdish Regional Government and Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in Khanasor, a neigbourhood to the west of Mosul on Friday morning.
After more than an hour of fighting, in which one YBS fighter has been killed and at least 7 from both sides have been injured, clashes have stopped. Both sides accused one another for the eruption of fighting.
Kom News briefly spoke to Kurdish Policy co-founder Kamal Chomani about the significance of this development and why it had occurred.
Chomani linked the movement of at least 500 Rojava Peshmerga forces affiliated to the KDP to Khanasor, an area defended by the YBS since 2014, a result of KRG President Massoud Barzani’s recent visit to Ankara.
“Turkey received Massoud Barzani in Ankara merely to push him to use the Roj and KDP peshmerga against the PKK in Shingal so as to create tensions; Turkey cannot accept Rojava’s advances in the fight to liberate Raqqa,” Chomani said, referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces operation to capture the Islamic State stronghold in Syria.
“Turkey was not invited by the US or Iraq to take part in the liberation of Mosul & Raqqa. So it wants to create obstacles for the next phases of the liberation of these two cities, as defeating ISIS does not serve Turkish interests, especially ahead of the country’s constitutional referendum,” said Chomani, adding that Turkey had also been sidelined by the US and Russia and wanted to achieve its agenda through the KDP.
“The main purpose of receiving Barzani was to unite fronts against Rojava, YBS in Shingal and PKK in Qandil.”
Chomani also said the KDP’s move was to measure the response of the international community, Kurdish people and political parties in the region. “Fortunately almost all are against [this move]. The KDP is asking the YBS to leave Shingal, but we shouldn’t forget that almost all YBS fighters are Yazidis. The KDP abandoned the Yazidis to ISIS massacres and now wants to fight those who protected them to become a source of protection for the Yazidis in the future, this is not possible,” Chomani said.
The Kurdish expert also also stated that the media had wrongly reported the force moved to the area as the Rojava Peshmerga, whereas it was a largely KDP force.
“This was also confirmed by the Peshmerga ministry in their statement, so it has nothing to do with Roj Peshmerga. KDP, Turkey, the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) want to use the ‘Roj Peshmerga’ in the fight against the Rojava revolution. This should be considered as treason.”
According to latest reports from Kom News sources on the ground, negotiations are ongoing between parties, who are still in fighting positions.