Fighters killed 311 ISIS terrorists and captivated 8 in the duration of only 10 days. Today on 24th of April, Jihan Shekh Ahmed, Rage of Euphrates spokesperson and Luqman Azad, member of SDF leadership announced the numbers of the 4th stage of Rage of Euphrates operation. The announcement says that the 4th stage started on 13th of April and they are planning to retake Jalab Valley and areas North of Raqqa and it is going well so far. They stated they have salvaged the villages of West Kapish, East Kapish, Om Tanak, Royan and others. They have also safely saved and transferred 20 thousand refugees from Raqqa to safe zones in Western Kurdistan.
The two Politburos of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party issued on 23rd of April, a joint communiqué as follows. Through the series of joint meetings of the delegations, in the presence of Kosrat Rasul and Masud Barzani, the two political offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party met today to discuss several topics. The first meeting was started to discuss the continuous efforts of the two sides on tackling the problems and crises in Kurdistan. They also stressed the support of the KRG and its institutions to improve the living conditions of citizens in all fields. The meeting also dealt with the efforts of the joint delegation to calm the convulsive situation. The second axis: The two sides stressed the results of previous meetings and priorities, especially: A- Form a referendum committee to set a date for this important process. B- How to activate the Parliament of Kurdistan in a way that serves the referendum, independence and national unity. Third axis: the project of the “road map of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan”, the Kurdistan Democratic Party will study it and discuss it before responding to it.
Turkish fighter jets bombarded the district of Amedi in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Sunday for the third consecutive day targeting suspected positions of the PKK. Turkish warplanes have targeted several villages in Sangasar and Warte districts, about 130 kilometers east of Erbil. Warte Mayor Muslih Zrar told Rudaw that Turkish fighter jets intensively bombed Bokriskiyan village on Sunday, adding that fortunately it did not result in the loss of lives or material. The two districts are close to areas in Qandil Mountains under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been engaged in a three-decade-long war against the Turkish state.
Lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament called on the international community to work towards the release of officials from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP). A number of lawmakers gathered in front of the Kurdistan Parliament’s office in Sulaimani on Wednesday (April 19) calling on the international community to intervene and help release the Kurdish parties’ officials in Turkey. Lawmaker from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Salar Mahmoud, said during a press conference that all the Kurdistan Parliament lawmakers support the release of the HDP and DBP officials. “We call on the international community so that the HDP and DBP [officials] are released”, Mahmoud said, adding that the release of the officials would help bring peace to Turkey.
Ali Awni, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leadership said the efforts are now concentrated on getting all the Kurdish sides to reach a consensus over the independence, noting that the referendum is a momentous move. Speaking to BasNews, Awni said a conclusive historic time is ahead the two major Kurdish parties, namely KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He argued that Kurds have lost hope in coexistence and partnership in Iraq. The official said the independence referendum has been discussed with all Iraqi factions and foreign envoys. “We have made our decision to hold a referendum, and this wish of Kurdistan people should be respected”, said the official. He added that “the KDP-PUK meetings will result in a referendum and then independence”.
At least 100 Iraqi lawmakers have now signed a petition that calls for the parliament to impeach and possibly remove Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim from his post after raising the Kurdish flag used by Iraqi Kurds in the contested province, several MPs have told Rudaw. The Turkmen and Arab provincial lawmakers have threatened to bring the case to the Supreme Court in Baghdad which is the highest judiciary office in Iraq and could reverse the decision. Turkmen lawmaker Niazi Miemaruglu said they plan to collect over 200 signatures in the Iraqi parliament in condemnation of the flag decision and impeachment of the embattled governor who has vowed not to lower the flag. high-ranking Kurdish delegation visited the Iraqi capital last week partly in a bid to reduce the ethnic tensions that could derail an anticipated referendum for Kurdish independence and possible integration of Kirkuk with the Kurdistan Region.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative Dlawar Azhgayee told NRT European countries have supported a united Iraq. European officials during meetings and visits from their Kurdish counterparts have repeatedly said the issue is related to Kurds on whether to split from Iraq or hold a referendum, Azhgayee said. European countries will further support Kurds during independence due to the effect Kurds have had in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), according to the KRG envoy. Senior Kurdish officials have made calls for an independence referendum in the region to gauge people’s appetites for such a move, despite the number of crises currently affecting the KRG. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on March 23 that a referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan Region was set to take place this year.
The joint delegation met with Head of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ammar al-Hakim, in Baghdad during a visit to the capital to meet Iraqi officials. Following the meeting, a delegation member, Adnan Mufti, told reporters that the delegation had discussed several issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region with the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, and commented on talk around a possible upcoming referendum regarding the independence of Kurdistan. “A referendum doesn’t directly mean independence. It is the Kurdish will to express an opinion about it”, Mufti said. “We want to discuss with Iraq to resolve the issues and the ways are open. We think our meetings were positive and we will continue”, he added. A leader of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ali Alaq, said they aren’t against the Kurdistan Region and they listened to views around activating Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution in order to maintain security in Kirkuk and other areas. The delegation visited Baghdad to meet with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Parliament Speaker Salim alJabouri and other leaders to resolve issues between both sides as well as issues that have cropped up due to recent developments in Kirkuk.
Firat News Agency released footage showing damage caused by jets shelling a cemetery for fallen PKK fighters in the Qandil Mountains. A PKK member TITLE: Turkish jets continue shelling suspected PKK bases in Kurdistan Region
said the bombardment showed the “weakness” of the Turkish government, adding that “the cemeteries of martyrs are our red line. They will pay for this”. Turkey resumed the shelling of suspected PKK positions inside the Kurdistan Region in July 2015 after a two-year ceasefire between the Turkish military and the PKK came to an end. Turkish warplanes have continuously shelled the villages and areas in the Qandil Mountains in the Kurdistan Region. The bombardments have so far killed 12 civilians in the region and caused the evacuation of several villages. The three-decade long conflict between Turkey and the PKK – which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state – has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
Kirkuk Provincial Council members on Tuesday (April 4) voted overwhelmingly in opposition to the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to lower the Kurdistan flag over government buildings in Kirkuk. Kirkuk Council voted on Tuesday against an Iraqi Parliament decision that called on the council to remove the Kurdistan flag from flying over the governorate’s official premises. The council members also voted on holding a referendum on the issue of uniting the region with the Kurdistan Region. The Head of Kirkuk Provincial Council, Rebwar Talabani urged the Iraqi government to take the needed steps to conduct a referendum. A member of the council, Ahmed Askari, said that if the Iraqi government doesn’t implement a referendum, they will turn to the United Nations and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Within the scope of Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution, Kirkuk and certain other regions should be allowed to vote on whether to join autonomous Kurdistan, after steps have been taken to allow expelled Kurds to return, and a census has been conducted. The Kirkuk Council session came after a petition by council member, Ibrahim Khalil, collected 22 signatures backing the decision to vote on Kirkuk’s fate.