Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Turkey kills senior PKK leader in Sinjar airstrike

A Turkish airstrike has killed a senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader in Sinjar, a village in northern Iraq where Kurdish forces fought off Islamic State (IS) militants in 2014.

Zaki Shingali, a senior PKK leader who is highly regarded by many in the area, was killed in the strikes, which also left up to a reported dozen people dead.

The PKK leader was leaving a service that commemorated the fourth anniversary of the Islamic State killing sin the village, where the ethnic Yazidi population was under attack. The PKK is credited with creating a security corridor to allow the Yazidis to escape and battled against IS.

His killing was condemned by several Yazidi activists, including a Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad, an ethnic Yazidi woman who is a survivor of sexual violence committed by IS. “Mam Zaki was a fine human who came to the rescue of Yazidis,” she said, using a Kurdish term meaning uncle. “For this we are thankful. That said, Sinjar cannot be a place for people to fight their wars.”

US officials distanced themselves from the strikes, with Col Thomas Veale, Director of Public Affairs for CJTF-OIR, telling Kurdistan 24, “We are aware that Turkish aircraft carried out strikes in the Sinjar area which was a unilateral Turkish decision”.

Turkey had “alerted the Coalition of its intention to strike in the Sinjar area, but did not give specific targeting information,” he added.

See more from the New York Times here and Kurdistan 24 here.