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Rudaw

Kurdistan

UPDATE: Kurds raise alarm over Shiite Hashd moving closer to Khanaqin

By Rudaw 11/1/2017
Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi seen together in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in an effort to jointly patrol the city after days of clashes, 2015. Rudaw photo
Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi seen together in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in an effort to jointly patrol the city after days of clashes, 2015. Rudaw photo

KHANAQIN, Kurdistan Region — A senior official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) denied that the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi has stationed its own forces in the Kurdish city of Khanaqin, calling it instead rumours intended to “destabilize” the area.
 
Kurdish military and political officials in Khanaqin warned on Tuesday that the Shiite paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi had moved some of its forces closer to the city with the aim of building a base and attracting Kurds to join the force.
 
“No party in the past was allowed to station an armed force by [Peshmerga] therefore affecting the Kurdistan-ness of Khanaqin and its surrounding areas,” Hemin Mansour, deputy head of the PUK’s branch in Khanaqin, told his party’s PUK Media on Wednesday. “And now just like in the past, Peshmerga will remain the sole protector for the security in the area.”
 
The PUK is in charge of Khanaqin both in terms of its administration and security.
 
Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, the representative from the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Khanaqin, told Rudaw that the Shiite paramilitary is trying to recruit Kurds in the area.
 
“They have come closer to here in order to recruit Kurds and we should all stop that,” said Mustafa, who heads the KDP’s 15th branch in the city. He said the Hashd al-Shaabi had moved some of its forces and intended to settle them at Palkana village near Khanaqin.
 
“This will lead to trouble in the area and a limit should be put on these kinds of Hashd activities,” Mustafa added.
 
Mansour denied the KDP’s claims.
 
“On behalf of the PUK’s branch in Khanaqin, we categorically deny these rumours and propaganda. We see it as an effort to destabilize peace, security and co-existence in the area.”
 
Khanaqin, which has a sizable Shiite Kurdish population, has been under Kurdish political, military and government administration since 2003 and on more than occasion Iraqi and Kurdish forces have come close to confrontation in the same area over issues of jurisdiction.
 
Mustafa explained on Tuesday that he is due to meet with his counterparts from the PUK in Khanaqin “in order to discuss the issue and prevent them [Hashd] from forming this force in this area.”
 
Kurdish and Shiite leaders have announced they are allies in the war against ISIS, but they have in the meantime remained steadfast in the separation of their areas of operation.
 
Kurdish military officials raised similar alarm late last year when the Hashd al-Shaabi was reported to have formed a new unit with its own recruitment center near the town of Tuz Khurmatu, south of Kirkuk.

 
“A brigade for Hashd al-Shaabi has been established, all of the members of the brigade are Kurds,” Faruq Ahmad, the head of the Kurdish Asayish security force of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Tuz Khurmatu, told Rudaw in December.
 
PUK officials in the area said they opposed the recruitment of Kurds by the Hashd and that they would sack any party member for signing up with the group.
 
“We will certainly dismiss anyone from our party who becomes a fighter for Hashd al-Shaabi,” Aso Mamand, a senior PUK official told Rudaw. “There is Peshmerga in our areas, we do not need any other force.

Comments

 
Azad | 10/1/2017
Its time that Peshmerga and all Kurds unite. Instead to fight eachother Kurds should work together. Kurdistan should form a paramilitary force like many countries including western countries have. It can be a Sunni Kurdish milita under the control of the KRG because majority of Kurds are Sunni. Paramilitary forces are more active and engaged like a guerrilla force to support regular forces. This advice should really be send to the Kurdish ruling parties. But Iraq and Kurdistan will be 2 states and good neighbors without war inshallah.
in my obinion | 10/1/2017
we should hire iranian mullah soldier come to our rescue and liberate us from sistanis saudi army.
Muraz Adzhoev | 10/1/2017
The issue concerning establishment of so called paramilitary forces is to be considered and the decision is to be taken by the commander-in-chief of the Peshmerga national forces. Anyway the paramilitary forces should have no religious identity at all. They must be the paramilitary forces of Southern Kurdistan under the command of the Kurdistan Peshmerga national army.
bebegun | 11/1/2017
You're spreading propaganda with your "Kurds fighting eachother" BS , on which fronts and in which cities are Kurds fighting eachother? Arabs are fighting and slaughtering eachother in the tens of thousends in Mosul in Syria in Yemen in Libya etc but I dont see any Kurds fighting eachother. You think you're smart by labeling political differences Kurdish parties have with eachother as "fighting eachother" to give the wrong impression of Kurds,
Non kurd | 12/1/2017
These hashed shabi terrorists really have crab in bushel mentality...

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