HPG: We are ready to defend our people against ISIS

HPG-BIM spokesperson Serdar Yektaş said that the mobilization of ISIS around Kirkuk is the outcome of a plan related to the Turkish state. Yektaş stressed that they are ready to protect the Kurdish people in South Kurdistan.

Serdar Yektaş, spokesperson of the People’s Defense Forces Press Office (HPG-BIM), pointed out that ISIS has become active in South Kurdistan again and that they are ready to protect the people in the event of an onslaught.

HPG-BIM spokesperson Serdar Yektaş was interviewed by ANF about the latest developments in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

There has been an invasion attack by the Turkish state against Bashur (South Kurdistan) since April 23. However, thanks to the guerrilla resistance, the Turkish state could not advance and even had to withdraw from some places. Now, ISIS attacks have begun in the Kirkuk region of Bashur. There are casualties and the death toll keeps increasing. What would you like to say about this?

Yes, it is true that there is an ISIS mobilization and activity around Kirkuk. These activities have now turned into direct attacks. Our civilian people and peshmergas from Bashur were martyred. We offer our condolences to the families of the martyred peshmergas and to all our people in Bashur. The fact that ISIS, which was defeated by the freedom fighters of the Kurdish people, is again attacking our people, is raising serious concerns.


Why has ISIS, which lost its control in some places in Syria and Iraq, and was defeated, suddenly reappeared around Kirkuk now?

We do not think that this is a situation that developed overnight. The reappearance of ISIS around Kirkuk is the outcome of a plan which is related to the Turkish state. The situation is better understood when we consider the recent statements and increasing activities of the circles organized here by the Turkish state.

When ISIS attacked the region in 2014, the HPG fought ISIS together with the peshmerga in that area, protected the people of the region and removed the group. Would you do the same thing again if these attacks by ISIS increased and the tension escalated?

Certainly. No matter which group attacks our people, we take it our duty to defend our people in a self-sacrificing manner. When it comes to the region you mentioned, if there is a need, we, as HPG, are ready to protect our people in Kirkuk. As you said, we will do our part just as we did in the 2014.

The weakness of the KDP forces is also cited as a reason why civilians and peshmerga forces were killed in these attacks. As reported by media outlets, the KDP has now focused on the guerrilla areas. It is reported that hundreds of hills are being controlled by them in order to besiege the guerrilla areas through armoured vehicles and weapons provided by the international forces to defeat ISIS.

Unfortunately, the reports are true. This military force should have been used not against the guerrilla forces, but against the real enemies of the Kurdish people, because it does not serve the people of South Kurdistan nor the cause of freedom of the people of the whole of Kurdistan.

It should also be known that ISIS cannot be defeated with the massive forces and armoured vehicles that are used to kind of show off. ISIS can be struck only through small units. One of the most important issues we dealt with while developing the guerrilla warfare of the new era was to get definite results against such attacks. The HPG has become highly experienced and competent in this regard.


When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to Siirt, it was reported that a bomb was placed in a police car and an attack against him was prevented. The pro-government Turkish media blamed the guerrilla for this. Are these reports true?

We have nothing to do with the bombing incident circulated by the pro-AKP press exaggeratively. It is very likely that this is fabricated news introduced by the AKP. In Turkey, there is a fascist regime that has grown weak, and its chief. Maybe they did it themselves to portray the AKP as a victim. They say that the seized bomb weighs 1.5 kilos. However, everyone knows that an explosive of this amount would do nothing to an armoured vehicle allocated to the president. For this reason, the Turkish reports are not true, but solely aimed for propaganda, we believe.