Swedish Peshmerga volunteer allegedly arrested by PKK-affiliated group in Sinjar

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Sgt. Maj. Raad Ahmed Ali of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces inspects an underground Islamic State bomb shelter, part of a network of tunnels built in the city of Sinjar, Iraq. (BEN KESLING/WSJ)

ARA News

The PKK-affiliated Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) allegedly arrested the Swedish Peshmerga volunteer known as Tony, 51.

Tony’s brother told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the foreign volunteer sent him a message that he was held by a group of Kurds and he is jailed in the town of Sinjar.

“It’s a sick situation, I have fought with the Kurds against the religious fanatics in several places in Iraq, and now they are turning against me,” Tony said.

“I think those who captured me are a bunch of thieves who are out of control,” he said.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been informed that Tony was arrested. However, the ministry did not confirm his arrest yet to the press due to confidentiality reasons. The Swedish Foreign Ministry advised Swedish nationals not to travel to Iraq for security reasons.

So far, the Ministry of Peshmerga and the YBŞ have not commented on the allegations.

Tony’s arrest seems to be a result of tensions between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region.

On 3 March, clashes broke out between KDP-linked and PKK-linked fighters in the Yezidi district of Sinjar in northern Iraq, in which seven fighters were killed.

Moreover, one local journalist was killed in the clashes.

Tony is one of the few Swedes that have joined the Kurdish forces to fight against the terrorist group ISIS. In late 2015, he joined the Peshmerga forces affiliated to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and participated in battles to liberate the town of Sinjar, which was freed on 13 November by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the PKK-affiliated YBŞ.

Source: ARA News

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