People’s Defense Center Headquarters Commander Zozan Çewlik, made evaluations in relation to the rising tensions in Southern Kurdistan. The YJA-Star commander explained that the PKK no longer accepts responsibility, after warning the KDP countless times, of a conflict should it arise.
Zozan Çewlik touched on the provocative attempts of the KDP on 4 November, highlighting that the confrontation between the guerrilla and peshmerga only lasted 4-5 minutes, yet the Central Headquarters were forced to intervene to stop a conflict from breaking out.
Zozan Çewlik stated: “The contact lasted 4-5 minutes. As they entered the guerrilla areas, a mine that had been placed in that area for defense purposes exploded on the advancing forces.
Zozan Çewlik’s interview with ANF Agency is as follows:
“HPG has already made a statement regarding the incident that took place in Gare between our guerrilla forces and KDP forces. However, some officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government have been misinforming the public with their statements about the operation carried out against the guerrilla areas. Therefore, as People’s Defense Center, we find it useful to explain to the public how this event has developed, and also what our attitude is and how it will be in the future.
OPERATION FROM TWO SIDES
The incident developed as follows: On November 4 at 11:00, KDP’s operational forces went into action from two sides towards the Gare mountain in the Çemanke region of Duhok. The first arm turned towards Gare mountain through the Çemanke line, and the second headed through the Ertuş line, also known as Geliyê Qiyametê, Hill Aslan.
The operational forces moved in two seperate arms to the guerrilla points. They made this attempt even though the local people in region and KDP forces know that this area is a guerrilla zone. They blame the PKK and the guerrilla on this, but that is not the truth.
The forces that marched into the guerrilla spot was an operational force. Our forces in the region warned them at first. The guerrilla actually responded cold-blooded to the operational force moving on them from two sides. We really do not want an internal conflict, we do not want to clash with the peshmerga.
In this regard, there is great sensitivity in all our defense forces and all guerrilla forces. Despite the warning by the guerilla, the force in question continued to advance and penetrated into the the guerrilla points.
A 4-5 MINUTES SKIRMISH
Hence, the guerrilla was forced to defend itself. The skirmish lasted 4-5 minutes. As they entered the guerrilla areas, the mine that had been placed in the area for defense purposes exploded on the way of the advancing forces. In order to prevent the skirmish that lasted 4-5 minutes from turning into a conflict, the Central Headquarter intervened and instructed the forces in the region not to engage in a conflict.
Thus, a conflict was prevented. In this context, some officials of the regional government distort the reality of the incident and blame the PKK as they have done many times.
Undoubtedly, we regret this incident. We are also saddened by the deployment of troops to the region and operations against guerrilla areas because we do not want history to be repeated. As all our people and the public know well, we, as the PKK and guerrilla forces, have never been in favor of a civil war.
In this process, our people and our Leader face serious dangers. It is essential for the fascist genocidal Turkish state to divide the Kurds and commit genocide against them. In order to prevent the repetition of history and civil war, our Leader, our Movement and the Main Headquarters have made calls. The process is one in which unity among Kurds must be established. It is the process in which Kurdish unity should be established against occupation, Kurdish genocide and Kurdish denial. The Kurdish people and the public know the attitude of the PKK and Kurdistan guerrilla on this issue.
GUERRILLA WAS FORMED AGAINST THE ANNIHILATION OF THE KURDISH PEOPLE
Some forces are plotting against the Kurdish People’s Leader, the Kurdish people and the freedom movement. They are trying to take along some Kurdish forces for the annihilation of the Leader and guerrilla forces, which represent a line for the benefit of the Kurdish people and Kurdistan nation. Guerrilla was formed on this basis.
Before the development of this incident, as all the public knew, the Commander of the People’s Defense Center made a call to the regional government, Mr. Massoud Barzani and the KDP. Repeated calls were adressed to them not to take part in the plan of dividing the Kurds and subjecting them to genocide. The regional government, the KDP, has not taken any stand against the Turkish state forces that occupied many areas of Southern Kurdistan and entered the area of Heftanin. However, the KDP is contributing to the concept of annihilation.
CIVIL WAR NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE KURDISH PEOPLE
As the PKK movement and the Kurdistan freedom guerrilla, we have never been a supporter of civil war, which is in no way in our interest anyway. Calls were made and letters were sent on this matter. Recently the People’s Defense Center commander made a statement to prevent the situation from reaching this point. If the incident that took place in Gare on November 4 did not turn into a conflict, it is because of our approach. It is useful for the public to know this. The necessary intervention was made to prevent it from turning into a conflict. The regional government should no longer be involved in the Turkish state’s annihilation plan. There were some provocative incidents and statements were made saying that ‘the PKK is attacking’. The PKK did not attack anyone, nor did it attack the Peshmerga. According to some information we have received, they intend to turn this into a conflict by making provocations in some places.
Many powers, especially the Turkish state, want this. In order to prevent the guerrilla forces and the peshmerga from fighting each other, the People’s Defense Center command has acted in cold blood many times, isuued calls by foreseeing provocative approaches and took a stand. Some attempts took place in Zini Werte, Xakurke, Şeladize, and Amedi to make the guerrillas and the peshmerga confront each other. If all the events have not turned into a conflict until now, this is not due to the attitude of the KDP or the regional government, on the contrary, their attitude serves the foreign powers.
THANKS TO OUR PARTY’S INSTRUCTIONS THERE HAS BEEN NO CIVIL WAR SO FAR
We have no interest in civil war. Our people, especially those in Southern Kurdistan, know this reality of the guerrilla. We are not for civil war, but against it. If there has not been a civil war until now, this is entirely thanks to the instructions of our party, guerrilla and People’s Defense Center.
The regional government is trying to escalate this situation and blames the PKK for this. Our people should see this well; the issue is neither in the interest of our people, nor in the interest of our party or many organizations. We have no interest in civil war. We are against it. It should be known that when ISIS attacked Maxmur they would have advanced up to Duhok and Barzan if guerrilla forces had not intervened. Southern Kurdistan people know this reality. Todsy, it is being argued that ‘PKK attacked in Gare’. There is a guerrilla point in the area where the skirmish took place and the people of Çemanke know this. The people of Southern Kurdistan should not be tricked. All Kurdish people, especially the peshmerga forces and the people of Southern Kurdistan, need to know that what happened was an attack and an operation against the guerrilla. As we said, if the experienced contact did not turn into conflict, this is thanks to the attitude and approach of the People’s Defense Center.
WE ARE NOT THE DEFENSE OF ONE PART ALONE
The Kurdish people, especially those in Southern Kurdistan, need to know this; we are not just the defense force of a single part. We are fighting for the benefit of our people, our country. Every attack on these values, our country, will find us against it. We do not have any attack plans against the Peshmerga or any other force of Southern Kurdistan from now on.
WE DO NOT HAVE A PLAN TO TARGET THE KDP
Although we observe similar approaches in Behdinan and some regions, we hope that especially the regional government will draw conclusions from the incident. We have no plans to target the KDP or any other Southern Kurdistan force. On the contrary, we see ourselves as the defense force of this people. This should also be known by everyone. We do not want a civil war to erupt, but the KDP is currently setting up special forces to carry out operations against the PKK. Everyone should know that; if the KDP special forces turn to our areas and points, we will not remain silent, we will respond. Therefore, we did not have any attack plans, it is not in our interest, we do not find it right.
BARZANI WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY FUTURE ATTACK
From now on, Masoud Barzani is responsible for any operation that will take place against the guerrilla areas. The PKK will not be responsible for a war that may arise between the guerrilla and the peshmerga, the KDP and the PKK. Because this is not in our best interest and our people know it. From now on, regardless of the region, the guerrilla will defend itself and respond if there is a move towards the guerrilla areas, especially Gare, for operational purposes. We hope that the regional government will change its approach from now on and we want it to stay away from provoking approaches. As we said, the regional government is responsible for any situation that may develop from now on. We hope that the regional government will properly review its approach through our movement’s call. As the defense forces of Kurdistan, we will undoubtedly defend our people and ourselves against the attack on the interests of our people, regardless of which part of Kurdistan.”