Germany worried about use of German weapons in intra-Kurdish conflict

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Kurdish Peshmerga fighters targeting ISIS positions in Mosul suburb. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The German government on Monday expressed its worries about the alleged use of German weapons in a clash between the PKK-affiliated Sinjar Resistance units (YBS) and the KDP’s Rojava Peshmergas last Friday.

The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the German army forces based in Iraqi Kurdistan were instructed by Berlin to ask the Kurdish government for information about the events. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) promised that the weapons would only be used in the war against ISIS.

“The government of the Kurdistan region of Iraq has pledged to use the delivered weapons only for the fight against the so-called Islamic State and in accordance with international humanitarian law,” a spokesperson of the German Defense Ministry said.

Since the beginning of the war on ISIS war in June 2014, Germany has sent more than 30 shipments of armament to the KRG, a total of 2,000 tons of weapons, including a number of armored vehicles.

In addition to weapons, German military advisers have provided training to the Peshmerga forces.

The German Left Party’s (Die Linke) foreign policy spokesman Jan van Aken was reportedly studying images of internal Kurdish clashes that spread on social media. “Our worst fears have come true, Northern Iraq now uses the German weapons to expand its own power, even against Yezidi’s,” Aken said.

“First the Yezidis should be protected with weapons, now the Yezidis are attacked. This must be stopped immediately,” he said.

Die Linke was one of the few parties in the German parliament that opposed arming the Peshmerga forces, while the party supports the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and called for lifting the ban on the PKK in Germany.

At least seven YBS fighters were killed in the clashes on 3 March, including two members of the armed wing of the PKK, called HPG.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) accused the PKK of attacking their forces.

“At approximately 06:30hrs on 3 March, PKK and its affiliates fired upon the Roj Brigade, part of an anti-ISIS alliance under the command of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, following a routine deployment to nearby positions,” the Peshmerga Ministry said on Sunday.

“In recent days, Sinjar’s elected officials and military and political leadership have called on PKK and its affiliates to leave,” the Ministry added.

This while the PKK accused the Peshmerga of attacking the YBS.

“The way they came here and deployed their arms, vehicles and troops revealed their true intentions. When they began preparing to attack, the YBS (Yezidi Shingal Resistance Units) approached them for dialogue. But they reacted angrily and threatened the YBS fighters,” PKK commander Egid Civyan said.

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