Haji Raza Najar, commander of Shiite militia, northern Iraq. Rudaw photo
BASHIR VILLAGE - An agreement between the Shiite militia (Hashd al Shabi) and Kurdish Peshmerga on Sunday officially ceded control of Bashir village south of Kirkuk to the Shiite militia.
Shiite militia leaders have promised that they will implement the three-point agreement they have signed with the Kurds within a month.
“The police station has just opened and started their duties. We have taken security responsibility for this village and within a short period most of the forces will pull out of here. Some units of Hashd al Shabi will stay to work with the police. And once ISIS is gone for good, we will hand over security to the local police,” said Haji Raza Najar, commander of Shiite militia northern Iraq.
The agreement stipulates that within three months most of the Shiite militia will pull out and the police will take charge of security.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces who have taken position around the village have made it a condition that the Shiite militia will leave the Kirkuk area in three months.
“ISIS has now been pushed back 20km from Bashir and therefore no need for a huge force in Bashair,” Peshmerga Brigadier Hayas Hussein told Rudaw. “The forces should be out so that the local police can do their duty and people can resume their lives,”
The Shiite-Turkman village of Bashir south of Kirkuk was under ISIS control for over two years until it was liberated by a joint Peshmerga-Shiite militia force late last month.
The Shiite forces brought more than 2,500 militiamen for the operation and according to local officials 500 of them have been sent back to Karbala in the last few days.