As tensions continue to rise in Iraqi Kurdistan between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the KDP has continued to deploy its forces in the areas where PKK forces are located.
Though Kurdish people and associations from all four parts of Kurdistan and the diaspora and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have repeatedly called for peace and national unity, the KDP has continued with its military initiatives. The KDP has reportedly deployed its armed forces, including military vehicles and its artillery, to Garê region. Political parties and Kurdish people have intensely criticized the KDP’s military build-up in Gare region since 25 September. The KDP deployed its military forces in Haci Umran and Qesre areas of Belaketiye region in Hewler on 23 November. According to local sources, the forces deployed have arrived with Şewlawa artillery and heavy weapons. The KDP’s Peshmerga forces are reportedly the only forces in these areas.
According to Yeni Özgür Politika, the KDP forces that stationed themselves in Xanol constructed positions there using heavy construction equipment. They reportedly set up a new control point in Birîfka village of Metîna on the morning on 23 November. It is not clear whether this control point is a temporary or permanent one. The Turkish state’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have also been observed in previous weeks.
Turkey launched a military operation against PKK forces located in Iraqi Kurdistan in the summer of 2020. The PKK accused the KDP of cooperating with the Turkish government during these operations. PKK executives called upon the KDP to resolve problems between themselves through dialogue. Kurdish people, parties and NGO’s have, meanwhile, urgently called for the easing of tensions between the two parties. The KDP continues to deploy its forces in areas where PKK forces are located. According to Selahattin Erdem, the KDP’s military mobilisation began when the KDP deployed its forces in Zine Werte in 2018.