"There is a cause and that cause is the PKK," said Iraqi Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani related to recent incidents took place in Shiladze, Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani remarked that the cause of civilian deaths is because of the presence of the PKK in the region, at a press conference held after the meeting of the Council of Ministers in Erbil, capital of north Kurdistan.

"Here I want to express my condolences and sympathy to the person who was martyred and his family as well as those wounded," Nechirvan Barzani said at the beginning of press conference, related to the protesters killed in Shiladze town, in Duhok's Amediye district.

What happened was certainly sad," Barzani said. Barzani emphasized that the official policy of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is that they absolutely do not want their land to be used against any of their neighbors.

"We will establish an inquiry committee for this case and will study it in earnest so that this kind of incident does not happen again," Barzani noted.

"Unfortunately, a number of people have been killed in Turkish airstrikes recently. But the question is where did those air strikes take place. Did it take place in a village?" Barzani asked

"No. It happened in areas where the PKK is present. It is because of the presence of the PKK that those air strikes occur. There is a cause and that cause is the PKK," Barzani said.

Stating that they will have to solve the issue that causes these air strikes, Barzani added: "If there are no PKK in those areas there will be no excuse for Turkish air strikes."

Underlining that as the Kurdistan Regional Government, their responsibility is the protection of the citizens of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Barzani said: "But unfortunately, some opposition groups of our neighboring countries without any consideration of the interests of the Kurdistan Region and its people they use territories of the Kurdistan Region to attack or cause our neighbors trouble."

Let’s ask ourselves this question: Which country or which logic would accept something like this? Even if we put ourselves in their shoes, would this be rational?

"Is it acceptable for you to come and use Kurdistan Region land as a safe-haven for yourself, train and organize yourself then go cause the neighboring countries trouble," Barzani said and warned the PKK.

Who will then pay the price? People of the Kurdistan Region. That is the case in Shiladze and on the Iran borders in Sulaimani, too.

"We are paying the price for something we are neither involved in nor want to be," he said.

"They must stop these acts and Kurdistan Region territories must never be used against any of our neighbors. We are serious about this issue." (ILKHA)

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