Tal Afar's Turkmen voice fear over Shia militias, PKK

Turkmen residents of northern Iraq face triple-threat posed by ISIL, PKK and Shia militias

Tal Afar's Turkmen voice fear over Shia militias, PKK

World Bulletin / News Desk

Residents of Iraq’s ISIL-held city of Tal Afar, which has a mostly Turkmen population, are voicing concern over the participation of Shia militiamen and the PKK terrorist group in the ongoing army campaign to recapture Mosul.

In a Thursday statement, Tal Afar’s local council urged the central government in Baghdad to send troops to clear the city of ISIL elements and protect it from additional threats posed by both the PKK and the Hashd al-Shaabi, an umbrella group of Shia militias.

"If our request isn’t met, all options will be put on the table," the statement read. "We will bring our case before the international arena."

Ankara has repeatedly warned of the potential for sectarian conflict if Shia militias are allowed to enter the majority-Sunni city of Mosul, located some 55 kilometers east of Tal Afar.

Shia militiamen have been accused in the past of mistreating civilians in majority-Sunni parts of Iraq that they have "liberated" from ISIL, such as Fallujah and Ramadi.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey would take "all precautionary measures allowed by international law" if the Hashd al-Shaabi threatened Turkey’s security from Tal Afar.

Tal Afar’s Turkmen have been subject to considerable oppression ever since ISIL occupied the city -- along with Mosul -- in mid-2014.

Since then, Tal Afar’s population has plummeted from over a half-million to less than 50,000.

Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2016, 08:54
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