Iraq takes control of Sinjar after warning to Turkey

The Iraqi military took control of the Sinjar province in northern Iraq vacated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after the government warned Turkey against an operation on its soil.

The troops entered Sinjar at the weekend, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, Iraq’s military spokesperson, said late Sunday that the 15th brigade of the army were now deployed with heavy weapons in the Sinjar district and the Sinun town.

Last week, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said that his country had rejected a Turkish proposal to fight the PKK in Sinjar, saying it completely rejected violations of its sovereignty by Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response that Turkey would purge Sinjar of the PKK, which is an armed group seeking autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds, should the central Iraqi administration fail to do so. Iraq’s government has complained about Turkish violations of its territory, including a forward Turkish military base in Iraq’s north and incursions by its aircraft.