Former peshmerga fighter: Neither the KDP nor the enemy will succeed

Former KDP peshmerga Îsmaîl Elî Îsmaîl pointed out that South Kurdistan (kr: Bashur) has been occupied through Turkish military bases and called on the regional government and the ruling KDP to allow the people to remove the invaders from South Kurdistan.

The Turkish incursion into the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) marks day 33. Despite the advanced warfare of the Turkish army and KDP’s cooperation, freedom fighters are inflicting heavy losses on the Turkish forces through the tactics of the new era guerrilla warfare.

The Kurds living in all four parts of Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora support the resistance of freedom fighters with a series of events and new songs. In the meantime, many former peshmerga fighters, including Îsmaîl Elî Îsmaîl, took a stand against the KDP and the Turkish attacks.

Îsmaîl Elî Îsmaîl was born in Duhok. His family had to migrate to Bashur as a result of the Ottoman attacks. İsmail graduated from the Department of Islamic Studies in Bashur in 1988. As a Kurdish patriot, he joined the People's Party in 1986 and played an active role during the uprising in Bashur in 1991. In 1992, the People's Party split thanks to the conflict between the Kurdish parties. Some party members joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and some others joined the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). İsmail joined the KDP in 1992, remained there until 2003 and left the party later on.


Speaking to ANHA, İsmail stated that they fought for the freedom of the people and patriotism, adding that he joined the peshmerga because of patriotic feelings to protect his people from oppression and persecution.

“We saw that personal interests have replaced national interests. Then came birakuji (Kurdish civil war) in the mid-1990’s. Citizens understood for whom and why the revolutions in Bashur took place. At that time, the division of the parties was mainly because of the KDP. Crises that emerged from personal and family interests have continued to this day. As I became more acquainted with their reality, I left the party in 2003,” the former peshmerga fighter said.


Ismail faced oppression from the KDP after he left the party. The KDP offered financial support to Ismail, which he declined.

“After I left, the KDP put a lot of pressure on me. They told me to either join the KDP or stay at home and don't get involved in politics,” İsmail said.


İsmail participated in the revolution in Rojava in 2019 and joined the Self-Defence forces. Explaining the reason for his move to Rojava, he stated, “When ISIS attacked Rojava, we couldn't accept it. I moved to Rojava in 2019 as a patriotic duty. I have been in the ranks of the Self-Defence forces for 4 years. The progress made during the Rojava revolution is unlike any other revolution. Kurdish revolutions have never been more widespread. However, if we do not unite, neither Rojava nor the other three parts of Kurdistan will remain safe. The plans of the invaders for Kurdistan are long-term. We will succeed with our strength and faith in the Kurds and the people of the region. We will frustrate their plans, but allying with the enemy and harming the Kurds is a serious betrayal and will do harm to us.”


Pointing to the attacks and betrayal of the KDP, Ismail underlined that Turkish intelligence service MIT had two bases in Bashur in 1994, but they have established dozens of other bases recently.

İsmail explained that Bashur was occupied through these bases. “The reason is the government of South Kurdistan. They say that the PKK guerrillas must leave the mountains of Bashur. Why did you allow Turkey to establish military bases in Bashur? Why do you ally with Turkey and not remove its troops out of South Kurdistan? Turkish president Erdogan is the archenemy. He wants to destroy the Kurdish national consciousness once again. The owners of the lands of Kurdistan are the PKK guerrillas, not the Turkish state. The KDP needs the guerrillas who are fighting for the revolution. Who was the first to protect the people in Şengal, Kirkuk and Rojava? They were the PKK guerrillas. Where were you back then? You just fled. The guerrillas were also ready for the revolution in 1991. The guerrillas have never fought against Bashur or the KDP, they are just defending themselves.”


İsmail stated that all parties in Bashur should oppose the KDP, saying, “The enemy wants to start a war between the KDP and the guerrillas. The gains of this revolution, which were rendered possible by the guerrillas and their leader Abdullah Öcalan, have inspired the whole world. The KDP should also endorse this revolution, not sell the gains achieved. It should rather fight to protect them. Whoever helps the enemy will lose. Betrayal to people has never been successful and will never be forgotten.”

İsmail also condemned the silence of the South Kurdistan parliament and stated, “This assembly was established to protect the gains of the Kurdish people. The position of the KDP is already obvious, but why are other parties silent towards this invasion? The PUK, Gorran, Newey Nû, and socialists in general should unite and tell the KDP that their betrayal would not be welcomed. The Kurdish revolution is like a ship on water. We'll either make it or we'll drown.”


İsmail raised concern over the danger of the Turkish plans, concluding, “If the new Ottoman plans are implemented, the KDP will no longer exist. The main duty of the South Kurdistan government and the KDP is to abandon cooperation with the enemy. If they are not able to remove the Turkish invasion, they should allow the people to remove the enemy from these lands. People have been waiting for inspiration for Kurdish freedom for years. But KDP’s betrayal kills the inspiration. Neither the KDP nor the enemy will succeed.”