Iraq DM Urges Kurdish Peshmerga to Expel PKK

Sees ousting PKK as solution to ongoing Turkish attacks

Iraq’s Defense Minister Juma Inad has issued a statement calling on the Kurdish Peshmerga to force the PKK out of the country, saying that Iraqi troops would be willing to assist in these operations.

PKK have long had a limited presence in northern Iraq, and in 2013, Turkey reached a ceasefire with the PKK which saw many of their fighters temporarily crossing into Iraq. When the ceasefire collapsed in 2015, Turkey began attacking targets inside Iraq.

Inad’s comments are a remarkable change, as Iraq’s government has repeatedly complained about Turkish strikes as sovereignty violations. These comments suggest the goal is to placate Turkey by going after the PKK for them.

The Peshmerga has expressed concern about the Turkish military’s action in northern Iraq, and this appears to be Inad’s response, along with comments that if Iraq wasn’t already weakened from the fight with ISIS, they’d go after the PKK directly.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.