May 12, 2017
Arash Saleh, leading member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDK-I), denied rumours on the social media that the PDK-I would ‘respond heavily’ if the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) would attack the KRG and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“Our formal position is to invite both sides to take reasonable measures to de-escalate the situation and respect their obligations towards Kurdish long term national security and existence,” the Kurdish leader told ARA News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“We believe that Kurdish parties in each part of Kurdistan should not intervene in the other parts and let people and parties of that side to deal with their issues. We can support each other but we have to be careful not to turn this help into meddling because there will always be a conflict of interest,” Saleh said.
On 3 March, forces affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) clashed in Sinjar, in which 7 PKK-affiliated fighters were killed and several others were injured.
Moreover, the Turkish army targeted the PKK with air strikes in Sinjar on 25 April, in which five Peshmerga forces lost their lives.
Since then tensions have increased between the KDP [Iraqi Kurdistan’s ruling party] and PKK over power-sharing and control in Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Riza Altun, head of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Workers Party, said last week they would fight Turkish forces everywhere, even in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, in response to the air strikes in Sinjar.
“Just as Turkey gives itself the right to come to Shingal and attack the Kurds there, attack the PKK there, then Kurds and the PKK also have the right to attack Turkey,” he said.
Meanwhile, tensions have increased between Iranian Kurdish parties and the Iranian regime since the former decided to resume their armed struggle last year against the Iranian government. Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of funding and arming the Kurdish parties, an accusation that has been repeatedly denied by the Kurdish parties.
The parties are principally seeking an autonomous Kurdish government in Iran, analogous to the KRG in Iraq.
Iran retaliated by bombing the PDK-I offices near Erbil in the town of Koy Sanjaq on 26 December, 2016, killing at least six. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) condemned the attacks.
The Iranian Kurds have called upon the new Trump administration to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group.
The long ignored Iranian Kurds have been suppressed for decades with Iran allowing minimal cultural rights and executing hundreds of Kurds for political activities.