Flag of the Shingal Protections Units (YBS). Photo: Anha news agency.
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region — The Shingal Protection Units (YBS) have denied that their forces handed over some of their positions to the mainly-Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi south of the Yezidi town of Shingal, calling media reports “baseless” and aimed at spreading disappointment among its troops.
“Our forces have not handed over any of their positions to any other force,” a statement from the PKK-backed YBS read on Tuesday. “We are continuing carrying out our mission in full force in order to achieve the demands of the Yezidi community in safety and freedom, and achieve recognition of the will of our people for a free life.”
The statement warned that their units will stand strong in their protection of the Yezidi people.
“We reaffirm that we will confront everyone who denies or ignores the political demands of the Yezidi community and they will be regarded as legitimate targets for the Shingal Protection Units,” the statement added.
A YBS commander had told Rudaw that they withdrew voluntarily from some of their positions leaving behind only a small security unit in villages now under control of the Hashd al-Shaabi.
A Hashd commander said that his forces coordinate only with Iraqi forces, though they have good relations with the Peshmerga. Abu Mahdi Muhandis, deputy head of the Hashd’s general body, also told Rudaw that the areas will be handed over to locals to administer once the region is completely clear of ISIS.