Iraq Announces Ceasefire Deal With Yazidis

'Fragile' ceasefire would end fighting in Sinjar

According to officials familiar with the process, a tentative ceasefire deal has been reached between the Yazidis and the Iraqi Army, and would aim to both lower tensions and stop the fighting around Sinjar.

This fighting was related to the Turkish military’s anti-PKK offensive in Iraq, with the Iraqi Army aiming to pacify the smaller Yazidi militias who, since the ISIS conflict, have been aligned with the PKK.

Iraq’s government isn’t wholly comfortable with the autonomous PKK operating on their territory, but also are pointedly not endorsing Turkey’s offensive against it.

Yazidi officials are very suspicious, and worried Turkey is exploiting this situation in a manner unfavorable to them. In particular, the concern is that Turkey is luring Iraq’s government into an anti-Yazidi stand for the sake of being anti-PKK. The leading Iraqi Kurdish Party, the KDP, is seen as inclined this way as well, as they have neither much use for the PKK, nor deep historical ties to the Yazidis.

This was conspicuous in the post-ISIS deal between Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which excluded the Yazidis, and Iraq and the Kurds agreed that the Yazidi militias should be withdrawn from Sinjar. The Yazidis resisted this, because it wasn’t their deal. That led to fights in recent weeks when the Iraqi Army tried to impose this agreement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.