Khalifan is a town located in Bashure (South) Kurdistan’s [referring to Kurdistan Region of Iraq) Erbil Province, near Soran region. A few kilometers west of Khalifan lies the historical city of Rawandiz. Sourrounded by mountains, Khalifan consitutes the southwest-end of Bradost region.
This region, particulary in the last century, has witnessed countless acts of resistance. Of course, every inch of Kurdistan carries the marks of resistance, but some regions unveil a certain tradition of struggle because of their social and geographical characteristics. This region is one of them.
Khalifan has always welcomed the resistance fighters with open arms with its very own nature. But what about the presence of those powers who wage a genocidal war against the Kurds? Or let us put it this way: What is Turkey’s business in Khalifan?
The spokesperson of the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] had told the press the other day in response to HPG’s [People’s Defence Forces] statement: “What is PKK’s[Kurdistan Workers’ Party] business in Khalifan? What are they doing there?”
This is how the KDP responded to a HPG statement, which announced that a group of seven guerillas were martyred as they were ambushed by KDP forces while trying the drink water from Zap.
At the end of July, a group of three guerillas were also attacked by the KDP forces in the same region and their whereabouts still remains unknown.
The freedom guerilla who resists the genocidal attacks have every right to be present at every inch of the country. This is more like a duty to be performed rather than a right to be used.
What about the fascist forces? What are they doing in this region which is 40-kilometers away from their border? What is their business here? May the KDP, who has been asking what is PKK’s business there, answer to these questions?
This is not a new phenomenon at all. Murat Karayılan, Commander of People’s Defence Centre (HSM) Headquarters, told Kurdsat TV five years ago that Turkish soliders were present in Khalifan. Neither the KDP nor the government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, who control this region denied these statements. Noone claimed the contrary.
Then it is true that soldiers of Turkey have been present in Khalifan for years, and that this is not a problem at all for the KDP, which sees the guerilla passing by the region as a problem and kills them in an ambush.
To have a better understanding of the various layers of this issue we must also point out the presence of another force in the region, that of the USA. An airbase hosting US forces is located in Harir, a town a few kilometers southwest of Khalifan. The airbase built in 2003 is one of the two strategical bases of the USA within the borders of Iraq. It does not only serve as an airbase anymore, but now acts more like an operational centre.
Therefore we cannot evaluate what has been going on in this region as mere local developments, because this is a region where regional forces as well as international NATO forces are present.
So one must view KDP’s question, “What is their business here?” referring to the PKK, also from this perspective.