Iraqi military finds 'secret PKK prison' at Mount Sinjar, site of IS Yazidi massacres

Iraqi military finds 'secret PKK prison' at Mount Sinjar, site of IS Yazidi massacres
The Iraqi military managed to locate a secret detention centre belonging to the PKK in the country's north, but failed to reach it, according to reports.
2 min read
15 September, 2022
Thousands of PKK militants operate in northern Iraq along the Turkish border [Getty]

A secret prison run by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq has been discovered by the Iraqi military, according to a Kurdish news website.

"Iraqi army intelligence was able to uncover one of the prisons and secret detention centres of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in the Gelmiran area of ​​Mount Sinjar, but it was not able to go to the prison site," reported Darka Mazi, close to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

It said PKK militants prevented the soldiers from reaching the site, with clashes nearly breaking out between the two sides.

Darka Mazi published a video on its website showing a verbal standoff between Iraqi and PKK personnel.

The PKK is accused of operating secret prisons in Sinjar, the site of the 2014 Yazidi genocide where thousands of men and women were killed and kidnapped by the Islamic State group.

This is despite repeated announcements by the Iraqi government that it is in full control of the area.

Ismail Sinjari from the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party said the PKK runs more than one prison in their areas of "influence" or control in Nineveh, but downplayed any serious action taken by the central Iraqi government to shut them down.

"The PKK is working according to dangerous schemes that have negative effects on the security of northern Iraq. Their presence poses a grave danger to the security of the country and the region," he told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab’s sister site.

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes and other military efforts in neighbouring Iraq as part of its offensive against PKK militants based there, who are believed to number in the thousands.

It is regarded as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the European Union.

Turkish strikes on northern Iraq - one of which mistakenly killed at least nine tourists and injured 20 in July - and their advancement into Iraqi territory has crippled ties between Ankara and Baghdad.