After the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) continuous counter-terrorism operations, the PKK and Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) – an umbrella network that includes the PKK – has reportedly decided to move from the Qandil Mountains in Northern Iraq, which has been the organization’s headquarters for many years.
Turkish media reported that the PKK has formed an alliance with the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces militia in order to move to the Sulaymaniyah-Halabja line instead.
There were rumors as the government in Baghdad was allegedly arming the PKK in Iraq to align with Popular Mobilization Forces and their political interests, according to Nazim Harki, the vice chair of the Interior Affairs Committee in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) parliament. Speaking to the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) official website in December, Harki said: Baghdad is trying to arm and attach the PKK to the Popular Mobilization Forces in accordance with its interests in the region. The aim here is to prevent Kurds, who have gained strength across the region, [from further succeeding] and make them fight each other.” The PKK and the Popular Mobilization Forces have not always been the most likely of allies, which is why the PKK’s recent decision to cooperate with the organization drew attention. In June, the KRG condemned the Popular Mobilization Forces. As abuses have become apparent, the Iraqi government has launched an investigation into rights abuses and arrested some Shiite militants. Fallujah has become a battlefield suffering abuse from DAESH militants and Shiite militias.