PKK’s Kalkan: Deployment of KDP forces in Wertê is unacceptable

Duran Kalkan describes the stationing of KDP Peshmerga in Qandil as the reason for the war. The KDP allows itself to be instrumentalized by the US and Turkey in order to support the Turkish occupation operation in Bradost from Qandil, he says.

Duran Kalkan, a member of the Executive Committee of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has commented on the situation in Zinê Wertê in the Qandil region of southern Kurdistan, northern Iraq. In a TV program on Medya Haber, he described the stationing of peshmerga units by the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) as a war situation and said: "We are not responsible for this. It is unacceptable for the PKK."

Three guerrilla fighters were killed in a Turkish air raid in Zinê Wertê on Wednesday. Previously, the KDP had stationed peshmerga units with heavy weapons there. The guerrilla group had visited the KDP camp and communicated that the presence of Peshmerga units in close proximity to the guerrilla areas was not correct. After the conversation, the group had waited outside the camp for further developments, whereupon the Turkish air strike took place. Duran Kalkan commented on the events with the words: "The KDP is carrying out what the US and the Turkish state want.”

An attempt is being made to ignite an inner-Kurdish war, said Kalkan: "At the request of the US and the Turkish state, a war is declared on the side of the enemy against the PKK and the guerrilla that leads the Kurdish liberation struggle. There is no other description for this. A war situation has arisen and it's not our responsibility.”

Duran Kalkan continued: "The KDP has moved units into the gorge at Zinê Wertê and is apparently trying to establish a military base there. The reason given is the coronavirus, allegedly to restrict movement, but there is no connection at all. The area is not on the border but inside Southern Kurdistan. It's a place to secure Qandil.

Already last spring, the KDP wanted to establish new bases in Bradost and Xinêre under pressure from the Turkish state. We warned them then. We said that these steps were dangerous and a reason for war. We took a very clear stand on this. Then the KDP did nothing. There have been no such conflicting developments for a year. Common sense had gained the upper hand, so to speak. What is happening now in Wertê is something similar, it is the continuation and involves the same danger.

It is a military movement to support the Turkish state's attack on the Bradost region from Qandil. There is no other way to explain it. The security of Qandil is thus lifted. What we said last year about Bradost also applies to Wertê.

We hope that the KDP will abandon this attitude. The area was taken over by the guerrillas in the war in 2000. Before that, it wasn't KDP territory, it was PUK territory. The PKK, in its relations with the PUK, has allowed a small peshmerga unit of the PUK to stay there for years. Why did the KDP come, why did the PUK peshmerga not prevent it? This is an incomprehensible situation. Is it a sham fight? Is the PUK involved in the plan? It must be explained, it must be clarified.

The area has been under the control of the guerrillas for twenty years, but the PKK has allowed both KDP and PUK movements and the use of the area by the population. It has even allowed the presence of a small peshmerga unit of the PUK.

The current development is meant to provoke an inner-Kurdish war. It means to be an instrument of the planned annihilation attack against the PKK. The PKK will not accept this, will fight against it and will risk anything, that should be clear. All Kurdish patriots and intellectuals must realise that the PKK is not to blame and the PKK has been attacked.

The KDP has not come into an empty area, it is an area controlled by the PKK, with which the KDP has nothing to do and in which KDP has started a military operation. It is therefore an attack to take over the PKK's main security area. The PKK will defend itself against this. Nobody can blame the PKK for this. We hope and believe that common sense will prevail again like last year.”