Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters have handed over a border crossing with Syria to the Iraqi army, a newspaper has reported as Turkey eyes an invasion of northern Iraq against the group.
London-based, Qatar-owned The New Arab said the Iraqi army and “Yazidi mobilization forces” received management of the Khan Sour border crossing with Syria from 15 PKK fighters who brought down the group’s posters, flags and bunkers in the area before pulling out from Tal al-Banat area.
According to the newspaper, four-wheeled vehicles were waiting for the fighters, and carried them to al-Fatha, a road leading to the Syrian-Iraqi borders near the syrian city of Hassaka.
PKK recently announced it was pulling out from Iraq’s Sinjar having become assured that Islamic State extremists were no longer a threat to the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority there.
PKK has been active in Sinjar since 2014, when Islamic State militants proclaimed a self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Turkey brands PKK fighters as terrorists, and has launched regular airstrikes on their locations in northern Iraq. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that Turkey was planning to launch an offensive against the group in Sinjar, a step which Iraqi officials rejected officially.