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INFORMATION ON EVENTS WHICH TOOK PLACE IN KIRKUK
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:12

Press Release

From the night hours of October 16, the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shabi forces have launched an invasion operation against the city centre of Kirkuk and its surroundings. Our guerrilla forces have took the defensive position in the wake of these attacks. Sporadic conflicts have took place between our forces and the Iraqi army, Hashd al-Shaabi with the withdrawal of the Peshmergas. These process which continued until the morning of October 17 is as following;

With the movement of the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shabi forces, the peshmerga forces have left all positions in the city and around Kirkuk before the morning hours. Normally, a common coordination had to be established to protect a threatened city. But the peshmerga forces have not shared anything with us on this issue. When the forces of the Peshmerga retreated, not known by us, our forces arrived to the city centre to protect the peoples of Kirkuk. When the people of Kirkuk saw the forces of HPG and YJA STAR in the city centre, they greeted our forces with slogans and a great morale. On top of that, our forces have begun positioning at the points left by peshmergas in order to protect the city with the peoples who want to resist and the old and new peshmergas who did not want to leave the city. We had no preparation in the city centre and on the nearby defensive line because our forces were in the area to defend our people against Daesh. The city's defense line was broken when peshmergas left the city centre and the city's nearby defensive line.

While the defensive line has been broken with the withdrawal of the peshmergas, our forces have formed a new defensive line with our people wanting to resist. In the event of a possible conflict, we already had declared to the public that we would not side with any force, that we would not clash with any force unless the bases of our guerrilla forces and our people were attacked. When the last peshmerga groups left the city at noon, there was panic in the city. The people have greatly left the city. Our guerrilla forces, volunteers and peshmergas who did not want to leave Kirkuk, were left alone in joint positions. With the withdrawal of the last group of Peshmergas, the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shabi forces started attacks in the Feyylak and Arefe districts with heavy weapons such as tanks, artillery and mortars.

Our forces deployed on the Feyylak bridge were also the targets of these attacks. Our forces responded strongly to this attack and there were heavy clashes. While clashes continued in Feyylak, a second contact was made with Hashd al-Shabi forces trying to enter the city and Rehimava neighbourhood from the Erbil highway, and brief clashes have taken place here. Heavy clashes continued throughout the day. As clashes continued in many parts of the city, when the few people left in the city also left, our guerrilla forces were alone. When we saw that this was the case, we shifted some of our forces to a safe area. In other words, our remaining forces in the morning hours remained in Kirkuk until the last moment. From this morning, the rest of our forces have withdrawn to safe areas on the defensive line formed.

 

October 17, 2017


HPG Makhmour - Kirkuk command