- On June 23, Iranian revolutionary guards ambushed and killed three Peshmergas from Komala, a Kurdish opposition party. Komala identified the martyred individuals as: Sabah Panahi, Hamid Panahi, and Behzad Noori. According to Komala, the Iranian regime’s revolutionary guards also suffered casualties in the encounter. The clashes took place in the village of Sanandaj City in Iran. Two days after the incident the Iranian regime security forces arrested the families of the victims.
- The joint leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Change Party (Gorran) held a meeting on June 24th in an attempt to work towards reactivating the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Parliament and constructing legislation pertaining to the upcoming independence referendum. The parties released a joint statement after the meeting that said “preparations should be made to hold the referendum with the intention to declare independence and the inclusion of disputed areas after the reactivation of the parliament.” Separately, the Prime Minister of the KRG, Nechirvan Barzani, visited Hero Ibrahim, the former first lady of Iraq and political bureau member of the PUK, to discuss ways of ending the political deadlock in the region.
- On June 23, Kirkuk’s security forces detained 39 people on terrorism charges. The individuals were detained during raids on their homes, which were authorized by the local courts and carried out by local police. Peshmerga forces also repelled an attack by ISIS terrorists northwest of Kirkuk city on Sunday, June 25. The attack targeted Peshmerga defense lines in the outskirts of Dibis district.
- Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi told NRT that 13,000 tourists have visited the KRG’s capital city of Erbil this year to celebrate Eid al Fitr.
- The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) made remarkable advances in the campaign to liberate Raqqa city, the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS. In the past week, the SDF liberated more neighborhoods and reached inside the city, with the help of air support from the U.S.-led coalition. Al-Jazra, al-Sabahiyah, al-Mushlab, al-Sina’a and al-Batani, and al Qadisya neighborhoods were all liberated from ISIS control. SDF commander Luqman Khalil told Hawar News Agency that after the Raqqa liberation campaign (known as “Wrath of Euphrates”) the SDF will hand control of the city back to its people. While participating in the annual Herzliya Security Conference, Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. said, that “on foreign fighters we’ve largely halted the flow into Syria from Turkey; from hundreds a week to now a handful at most a month.”
- The administration of the Dams in northern Syria announced that Turkey had cut off the flow of water from the Euphrates River into Syria and Iraq. The administration called on the international community to demand Turkey implement international conventions, cease its denial of water from the Euphrates, and ease the struggles of the Syrian people.
- The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned the wanted bodyguards of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 6. Speaking to Die Welt, Hamburg State Interior Affairs Senator Andy Grote said that “on our streets, only the Hamburg police have a say – and no one else.” The Hamburg police have prepared measures to prevent clashes between pro-Erdogan and Kurdish protesters in the city during the G20 summit. Last month Erdogan’s bodyguards attacked peaceful Kurdish protesters in Washington, D.C.
- The Turkish military deployed heavy weapons and tanks into Syria last week. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Turkish forces entered Syria to fight the Kurdish forces of the People’s Defense Units (YPG). The Pro-Turkish government news agency Yeni Shafak (New Dawn) said that Turkey will take charge of the security in Idlib province in Syria, which is home to 2 million Syrians. Yeni Shafak also said that the Turkish intervention will mean “the collapse of the PKK/PYD’s project to expand to the Mediterranean.”