first published on March 26, 2018 by Will
Turkey has just announced ongoing offensive military operations on Sinjar, deep into Iraqi territory, which has Baghdad vowing to retaliate.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will do what is necessary to ensure that Kurdish PKK fighters are removed from the area.
The PKK claimed that they ceded the area on Friday. They had been operating there since 2014 to retake and protect the city and the Yezidi people from the Islamic State.
The Iraqi government said that they would not remain silent about any foreign military intervention on its soil. Iraq’s central government was currently operating in the area to perform a battle-space handover that would allow them control of the area so the PKK units could leave.
Turkey, however, is not convinced that Iraq’s operation will be thorough enough, thus the deployment of troops to the mountainous region. “We hope that the Iraqi central government will carry out this operation in Sinjar properly,” Erdogan said.
In 2014, the Islamic State razed the city of Sinjar, home to an extremely unique sect of Kurdish people. The ISIS fighters killed the men, elderly, and children and captured the women to be auctioned off for sex slaves.
Roughly 50,000 people fled the carnage to the top of Mt. Sinjar where they faced starvation and dehydration. At that time it was revealed that US, UK, and Australian Special Operations teams were on the ground to assist the endangered people.
The following video from 2015 shows Kurdish forces isolating and destroying ISIS targets in Sinjar.