KNK: Erdoğan’s army is now preparing to attack Maxmur and Shengal

The Executive Council of the KNK warned in a statement that Erdoğan’s army is now preparing to attack Maxmur and Shengal.

The Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) issued a statement to warn the international community over a possible attack against Maxmur Camp and Shengal (Sinjar).

The statement said that "on 23 March, the KNK called an extraordinary meeting with Kurdish and Assyrian political parties plus civil society representatives regarding the rising threat of a new Turkish military offensive in South Kurdistan (the Kurdistan Region of Iraq). In addition, on 18 March, the KNK published a detailed paper outlining the consequences of the military operation planned by Turkey with the aim of occupying South Kurdistan."

The KNK said that "to understand Ankara’s reasoning for an invasion, it needs the consideration of the wider political context. The Kurds in occupied North Kurdistan (southeast Turkey) have produced the first cracks in Sultan Erdoğan’s throne, following the local elections on the 31st of March. In fact, the biggest political winners of the most recent elections in Turkey were the Kurdish people, who have defiantly refused to bow down to Erdoğan’s brutality over the last 22 years. Even Erdoğan’s Neo-Ottoman dream of recapturing Istanbul was dashed by Kurds who are now living in Istanbul, after the Turkish military burned down their villages during the 1990s."

The statement added that "although the AKP brought in thousands of soldiers, police officers, civil servants, and paramilitary units to rig the voting in Northern Kurdistan, they were still resoundingly defeated. Consequently, Erdoğan and his coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist MHP, now want to take revenge for their embarrassing electoral defeat, with another war against the Kurds."

A new war against the Kurds in Iraq is supposed to reinstall Erdoğan’s power

The statement continued: "Unfortunately, we see that Iraq is already bending to pressure from Turkish diplomatic traffic visits. Indeed, recent increased pressure by Iraqi forces on Maxmur, where 10,000 refugees live, and Shengal (Sinjar), where the survivors of the ISIS genocide live) display how the government in Baghdad is trying to display their willingness to follow Erdoğan’s orders. All of which is taking place in an environment where Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler and Erdoğan are stating publicly that they intend to deploy their military 30-40 km deep into Iraq’s territory, semi-annexing it like they have parts of northern Syria.

Beyond his usual anti-Kurdish crusade, one of Erdoğan’s objectives is to clear the way for a new trade route, “the Turkey-Iraq Development Project”, which he sees as a “New Silk Road” and alternative to the IMEC (India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor) which bypasses Turkey. However, this 1,200 km highway and railway Development Road connecting the Persian Gulf to Turkey needs to cross straight through Southern and Northern Kurdistan (northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey)."

The KNK said that "for decades, Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK have been resisting against the occupying Turkish Army in the mountainous areas that this project intends to cut across. Turkey had been hoping that the area could be controlled fully by the KDP, who would let Erdoğan’s regime exploit it for a cut of the profits. However, since that has not come to fruition, Ankara is now looking to Baghdad for assistance.

For his first step, Erdoğan wants to have the Iraqi government silence the Kurdish refugees in Maxmur and the Yazidis in Shengal. He is using these two areas as a test case to gauge Baghdad’s level of obedience to his commands. Once these areas are effectively muzzled to the outside world, Erdoğan intends to occupy them with his military. His reason for doing so, is because both areas are on the pivot point where this new ‘Silk Road’ will pass and investors want to have “security” (i.e. Turkish military control) before funding the project."

The KNK said: "We would implore the Iraqi government to guard their sovereignty and not become pawns of Erdoğan’s weakening regime, with its collapsing economy and tumbling currency. Erdoğan wishes to transform the Iraqi government into a new “Saddam Hussein”, by having them emulate the brutal dictator that many of them were victimized by in the past. But Baghdad should refuse Erdoğan’s manipulation, as Maxmur and Sinjar are sacred lines for the Kurdish nation. Any Turkish attempt to occupy these regions will ignite a firestorm of resistance across Greater Kurdistan. Rather than doing Ankara’s dirty work, Baghdad should be honouring the people of Maxmur and Shengal, who, alongside the PKK, resisted the ISIS takeover of Iraq. At a time when Erdoğan was arming and assisting ISIS to murder Iraqi citizens and soldiers, it was the Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK who helped prevent the ISIS caliphate from spreading over the entire nation of Iraq. One would hope that gratitude would be the response from Baghdad rather than betrayal."

The KNK added: "Therefore, we appeal to the Iraqi parliament and government not to destabilize Iraq and drive the country into war at Erdoğan’s request.

We appeal to the Kurds and Yazidis of Maxmur and Shengal to unite against this conspiracy to fulfill the unrealized goal of ISIS.

We call on the friends of the Kurdish people to raise their voices against this policy of invasion, occupation, and semi-annexation on behalf of a trade route.

And we urge NATO, the UN, and the EU to reign in the lawlessness of Erdoğan and force him to comply with international law by ending his expansionist Neo-Ottoman invasions around the region.

There is no honor in producing business development with the blood of innocent people, by invading and occupying their homeland."