Following the protests of the people in the Kurdistan Region, especially in Sulaimaniyah Province against the corruption of the Government, especially the delay of several months in the payment of salaries, the police of this region intensified the repression so that some Kurdish experts compared the suppression way with the ones by Saddam Hussein and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Some Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials also confirmed the police’s brutal behaviour against the protesters, citing some non-popular elements as the behind the events.
After Masrour Barzani referred to “the involvement of factors other than the real protesters in the recent unrest,” former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a leading member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), wrote on his Twitter account:
“Recent violent protests in Sulimanya in Iraqi Kurdistan have fizzle out. The grievances & delayed payment of salaries is heard. PKK manipulation of public anger is widely recognized by all. Kurdish unity is best safeguard against chaos. Still it’s not over until it’s over.”
While the Kurdistan Regional Government officials acknowledge the PKK violence they have allowed the group to settle in the region over the past few decades, thereby attacking the Iranian-Turkish border. This permission, whether intentional or unintentional, was a big mistake, and now the Kurdistan Region itself faces the consequences.