Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) spokesman Nouri Mahmoud criticised Turkey’s planned invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkish President Erdoğan’s violation of international laws, highlighting their threat to regional stability.


Turkish President Erdoğan’s neo-Ottoman ambitions, coupled with the silence of the international community, risk plunging the Middle East back into a distant past, warned Nouri Mahmoud, spokesman of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG), in an interview with Rosa Moussaoui of French daily L’Humanité on Wednesday.

Mahmoud condemned Erdoğan’s announcement of a significant military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan before summer, emphasising the president’s disregard for international boundaries and the silence of the global community on this matter. This strategic move, supposedly aimed at targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions within the Iraqi Kurdistan mountains—already subjected to months of Turkish aerial bombardments—is considered by some as Turkey’s next step towards deepening its military occupation of Kurdish regions and making it permanent.

“Erdoğan’s unabated power in Turkey, backed by nationalists, Islamists and conservatives, coupled with the support from jihadists on Kurdish territories and those harboured within Turkey, forms a formidable force against us,” stated Mahmoud.

Mahmoud detailed the existential threat posed by Erdoğan’s expansionist strategy, aiming to revert the Middle East to the borders of the Ottoman Empire’s “Misak-ı Millî” or the National Pact—a vision that threatens not only to expand Turkey’s national territory but also potentially to restore the empire’s former borders at the expense of regional peace.

The YPG’s resistance leans heavily on the support from the communities in Rojava and northeastern Syria, Kurds and non-Kurds alike. “Without the backing of our people, who heroically endure an imposed embargo and self-manage their daily lives, our armed resistance would falter,” Mahmoud added. He also voiced concern over the resurgence of fundamentalist groups, noting the presence of thousands of ISIS fighters and their families in detention facilities like Al-Hol camp, underscoring the international dimension of this crisis and calling for global recognition and support for Kurdish self-administration in the fight against the resurgence of ISIS.

Prior to his interview, Nouri Mahmoud attended a Newroz reception in Paris, where Kurdish resilience was celebrated alongside French and Kurdish politicians, including former French President François Hollande.