(Adds quote and background)
ISTANBUL Aug 4 The PKK, which has spent three
decades fighting for autonomy for Turkey's Kurds, on Monday
urged all Kurds to take up the fight against the Sunni militants
of Islamic State, who have expanded their advance across Iraq
into Kurdish-controlled territory.
The Kurds populate an area that extends from southeastern
Turkey through northeastern Syria and northern Iraq, into
"All Kurds in the north, east, south and west must rise up
against the attack on Kurds in Sinjar (in northern Iraq)," the
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said in a statement on its
Islamic State inflicted a heavy defeat on Iraq's Kurds on
Sunday with a rapid advance through three towns to reach the
Mosul Dam, the largest in Iraq and a major source of
"All Kurdish political powers must take part in this
resistance, shoulder-to-shoulder. When Kurds are attacked, they
must show the attackers that they will find all Kurds against
them," the PKK said.
The PKK, currently engaged in a peace process with the
Turkish state, is based in the mountains of northern Iraq but
also has fighters in Turkey. It is also allied with rebel
Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria.
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has ordered his air
force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against the
Sunni militant group, according to Iraqi state television.
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Kevin