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Shiite militia recruiting Yezidis, strengthening foothold in Shingal

Members of the Yezidi force outside Shingal. Rudaw photo.
Members of the Yezidi force outside Shingal. Rudaw photo.

By Nasir Ali

DUHOK, Kurdistan Region - The Shiite militia formally known as the People’s Mobilization Forces appears to be strengthening its foothold in the Yezidi town of Shingal by recruiting Yezidis and paying them money, an official told Rudaw.  

The encroachment of the Shiite militia in the area goes against official Kurdish policy against the move.

Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani asked the Peshmerga minister last month to stop all militia activities in the area, but a Yezidi official says that a number of young men from the religious minority have registered to join the Shiites.

He said that the Shiite militia had already given out the first salaries to the new members in the Shingal area last month.

Meanwhile Haider Shasho, head of the Shingal Mobilization Force, told Rudaw that his force of Yezidi recruits is becoming more popular in Shingal and that no one has tried to dismantle it.

“People constantly join us; they like to join our group,” said Shasho.

The Kurdish military formed a Yezidi force shortly after Shingal fell to the Islamic State (ISIS) last August, but Erbil has not been able to pay members of the force.

“If these people do not get paid I won’t be able to stop anyone from joining the Shiite militia,” said the Yezidi official, on condition of anonymity. “I can’t even stop my own brother.”

He urged Kurdish military authorities to formally integrate the young Yezidis into the Kurdish Peshmerga and provide financial support to prevent any further defection to the Shiite militia.

“These people are all from Shingal, they are displaced, they live in terrible condition and they need money,” he explained.

Shingal, a predominantly Yezidi town, was devastated after ISIS stormed the town and unleashed a campaign of murder, looting, rape and abducting women for sex slavery.


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Hersh | 2/3/2015
Iran and Baghdad are behind this, they're doing everything in their power to weaken Kurds in the 'disputed' areas. They're doing the same in Khanaqin and elsewhere, paying Faili Kurds to join shia militias, just as they have bribed some inside PUK to sabotage Kirkuk. Ezidi and Faili Kurds who for now join these terror militias only do it because they're desperate, to get a salary, it can all be reversed quickly if KRG offers these people an alternative, enroll them all into the Peshmerga and ban every single militia in Kurdistan.
mike | 2/3/2015
I thought that Baghdad had no money??? Since the Shiites continue to wage economic war against Kurds and now they're interfering in Kurdish affairs by trying to divide yezidis from non yezidi Kurds...I say forget helping Baghdad retake Mosul, tikrit, etc. Let the Shiites get killed by isis.
kamaran baksi | 2/3/2015
They're making a huge mistake, these yazidi's forget that for 12 years shiite government in Iraq couldn't do anything for them, and their sunni Arab neighbors tried to eradicate them. They need to use their brain, shiites will be driven out from all of northern Iraq by the sunni (with the help of Turkey Saudi), not only are the yazidi seen as devil worshipers but now they will be seen as working directly for Iran. If yazidi loose the support of the other kurds they will be completely wiped out when the shiite are driven out, the shiite can move to southern Iraq the yazidi will have no where to go if they betray their people like this.
Gerdi | 2/3/2015
Baghdad is out of money when it comes to Kurdistan share of the budget but has plenty when it comes to paying 800 000 illegal militia, yes they are all illegal according to Iraqi law. Suddenly we will be hearing that Iraq is completely bankrupt and everyone will wonder how that happened.
Kurdish Patriot | 2/3/2015
They ate clearly trying to influence our young Yezidi brothers in the hope of turning them against us and using them to their advantage. And their behaviour is very fishy doing this behind our backs. We warned our governments about the snakes emerging from the grass, but do they listen? No. Our government never listen. They think they have everything under control! 👎

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