The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs announced on December 16 that its forces had come under an attack of the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Deputy Peshmerga Minister Sarbast Lazgin told reporters that a group of eight YPG fighters attempted to sneak from northeastern Syria to the KRG territory in the early morning. The group was warned by the Peshmerga. However, five fighters went on with their attempt.
Later, a Peshmerga border position in the area, where the infiltration attempt took place, came under attack by 50 to 60 gunmen coming from northeastern Syria.
Northeastern Syria is controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The YPG and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are the core of the Kurdish-led group.
The attack on Peshmerga was condemned by KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who called it an “unprovoked attack by the YPG.”
“This was a clear and illegal violation of the territory of Kurdistan Region and the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Barzani said. “The YPG cannot be allowed to exploit foreign assistance to launch attacks on our territory. Any repeat would be seriously damaging to regional security.”
Barzani called on the U.S.-led coalition to ensure that the YPG will not launch any new attacks on the Peshmerga from Syria’s northeastern region.
“The YPG cannot be allowed to exploit foreign assistance to launch attacks on our territory,” the PM said in a statement. “Any repeat would be seriously damaging to regional security.”
Commander-in-Chief of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, slammed the attack on Peshmerga as a “shameful,” saying on Twitter that all attacks on the KRG Peshmerga should stop.
This was not the first such incident. Two days earlier, a Peshmerga soldier was killed in clashes with PKK fighters in the area of Amedi in Duhok province.
The SDF does not seems to be able to build constructive relations with any of its neighbors, not with Turkey, Damascus or even the KRG. The Kurdish-led group is isolated and is becoming more and more dependent on U.S. support, which has been steadily declining.
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