PKK accuses KDP of attacking its fighters in Kurdistan’s Khalifan area

Members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on a road in the Qandil Mountains. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) military wing on Thursday accused a force from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of attacking its fighters in the Kurdistan Region’s Khalifan area.

The People’s Defense Forces (HPG) said a group of its fighters had gone missing since July 26 after it left to Khalifan area on a mission.

“According to the information we have received from people in the area, a KDP force had surrounded our group and attacked them,” the HPG said in a statement.

“As the result of the attack, a number of comrades were martyred. The KDP forces are spread in the area and do not allow movement of anybody there,” the group added.

The allegation came two days after a senior Kurdish official said the PKK fighters had opened fire at a Peshmerga unit near Khalifan, northeast of Erbil.

Peshmerga’s Chief of Staff Jaafar Emniki said the Peshmerga forces also responded to the attack and that there were casualties, without specifying which side suffered casualties.

On Saturday, Emniki also said the Peshmerga forces came under fire on Mount Matin in Amedi district, northeast of Duhok. He accused the PKK of the attack.

The incidents came after five members of the Peshmerga forces were killed and seven others were injured after their convoy was attacked on the mountain in June.

The convoy was hit either by a rocket or an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was heading toward a point on Mount Matin.

The Ministry of Peshmerga said the PKK fighters “ambushed” the convoy in the area.

The PKK denied the accusations and called for investigations into the attack.

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