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Kurdistan National Congress makes bid to stave off deadly intra-Kurdish war in Northern Iraq

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Kurdistan National Congress makes bid to stave off deadly intra-Kurdish war in Northern Iraq

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KURDISTAN National Congress (KNK) co-chair Ahmed Karamos offered to mediate in negotiations today in a bid to stave off a deadly intra-Kurdish war in northern Iraq as regional tensions escalate.

Peshmerga forces associated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is led by Kurdish politician Massoud Barzani, have mobilised to the Qandil mountains region of Iraqi Kurdistan, raising fears of an imminent war against guerilla forces from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Mr Karamos said that the KNK was prepared to enter discussions with the KDP in order to prevent an internal conflict between Kurds, and warned the Barzani-led forces against doing the bidding of the Turkish state.

“These moves do not deliver messages of good intentions: it is not mobilising forces to fight enemies, but the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which fights for freedom,” he said.

A report that warned of a series of planned attacks by PKK forces, reportedly issued by the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Monday, has been dismissed by one of its members today as fake.

The statement claimed that the KRSC had detained 17 suspected members of the PKK, alleging they were plotting to target government officials, businesses and diplomatic missions in a series of sabotage attacks.

But three of the five-member body belong to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and said they had no knowledge of the allegations, rejecting the statement as false.

The PKK dismissed the accusations as “baseless and untrue.”

“This distorting news was created in co-operation and co-ordination with Turkish intelligence and its aim is to legitimise their attack on our movement,” a spokesman said.

Turkey has escalated its campaign against the PKK, with bombings and drone attacks continuing to target the Qandil mountains region, despite its Operation Claw Eagle officially coming to an end last month.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that only “PKK terrorists” live in the border region. But it is home to around 20,000 people living in small villages and other settlements, many of whom are agricultural workers.

During a visit to Qandil earlier this month the Morning Star met many families living in fear of Turkey’s constant bombardments, who explained how they pray every night that they are not going to be killed in their sleep.

Mr Karamos warned that the strategy of the Turkish state is to “stir up the parties of the Kurdish movement against each other” ahead of a large-scale military operation against the semi-autonomous Syrian enclave known as Rojava, along with attacks on Kurds in Iraq and Turkey.

“It is likely that the KDP will have a role in this hostile plan,” he said, calling on Mr Barzani to intervene and engage in dialogue to end the crisis.

“The Kurdish people must raise their voice against this escalation and internal war,” Mr Karamos said.

Source: Morning Star Online

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