On Friday 4 March 2017 military clashes took place at the Khanasore complex in the Sinjar area between Sinjar Protection Units (SPU) belonging to the PKK (mostly composed of Yazidis) and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) units of Rojava Peshmarga (composed of Sunni Muslim Kurds and some Arab personnel from Syria).
Each group blames the other for the incident. According to SPU sources, the clash started when the Rojava Peshmarga units tried to forcibly enter the Khanasore complex, which is under SPU command and control. The SPU later stated that it had received no prior communications from the KRG concerning the intention of the Rojava Perhmarga units to enter the complex — no requests, orders, or approvals. The firefight that resulted was triggered when the Rojava Permarga units attempted to force their way in.
Mr. Saed Hassan, the SPU leader, asserted that the Peshmarga wanted take control of the Khanasor complex, and that this move came on the heels of President Masud Barzany’s visit to Turkey. In response, a KRG representative claimed that the Peshmarga have the right to enter any area they wish at any time and have no need to justify their operations to anyone. Further, the KRG reported that it has released five Yezidis belonging to the SPU who were captured during the firefight and that the fighting began after the SPU refused to allow the Peshmarga forces access to the Syrian border through the Khanasore complex.
An unconfirmed number of fighters on both sides were wounded and killed in the clash, providing a foretaste of what is to come in Iraq after ISIS has been defeated in Mosul.