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Commander: only forces under Peshmerga command can operate in Shingal

By Rudaw 13/7/2015
Peshmerga forces in Shingal AP file photo.
Peshmerga forces in Shingal AP file photo.
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – Only forces under a special Peshmerga command will be allowed to operate in the predominantly Yezidi area of Shingal, a Kurdish military official told Rudaw.

“Forces not under the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Peshmerga Ministry will not be allowed to stay in Shingal,” said Qasim Shasho, the Yezidi commander assigned to lead the Shingal Command.

He said the Shingal Special Forces Command would bring together all the different forces protecting Shingal, following a devastating attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) group nearly a year ago.

Shasho added that Muslims, Arabs and Yezidi Kurds would be part of the Shingal Special Forces, which so far is organized into 10 regiments and 26 companies.

The Shingal force was established on the orders of Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, who is also commander-in-chief of the Peshmerga army.

Shasho said that another special force established by the Iraqi government had been merged into the Shingal Special Forces.  

“Shingal belongs to its people and we won’t allow any other force to come to the city without the KRG Peshmerga ministry’s consent,” he vowed.

Currently, forces on the ground in Shingal include the Iraqi government‘s Special Forces for Shingal and different forces affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) and the Sinjar Resistance Units.

The Shingal Special Forces has registered 5,000 Peshmerga fighters.

According to Shasho, Baghdad has stopped paying for the Shingal Special Forces and the fighters also have not received any financial help from the KRG.

In August last year an ISIS offensive in northern Iraq pushed into the Kurdish-held areas of Nineveh province, capturing Shingal and other areas.

Tens of thousands of Yezidis fled the ISIS invasion, taking shelter without food and water in the Shingal Mountains north of the city.  

In December last year, the KRG’s Peshmerga forces and the Kurdish YPG forces from Syria launched major offensives and recaptured some parts of the town.


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Aziz | 13/7/2015
Since the Peshmerga left the Yazidis to their faith last year and only YPG and PKK saved them, the Yazidis must question this decision. I would.
dutchnational | 13/7/2015
Was it not mr Barzani dressing down the YPG PYD for not allowing Barzani militia fighting in Rojava under his personal command, in fact calling them Assad collaborators? Was it not his pesh merga abandoning the yezidis august 2014 without any fight? Is this man like his close friend mr Erdogan?
M Gonzales
M Gonzales | 13/7/2015
You Kurds fight among yourselves too much. Facts are Iraqi Kurdistan is very close too becoming a Kurdish nation, sinjar is in Iraqi Kurdistan and not Turkey or Syria. Under no stretch of the imagination will sinjar become a canton or under PKK or Ypg control. I just love how the people that say the ypg saved the yazidis and not the keg forget too mention IR was only possible because of U.S. airstrikes making a hole for them. The PKK really need too worry about their own backyard Turkey and stop meddling in other Kurd countries politics. The Ypg and too a extent PKK made great steps forward in how the world See's them in the past year but a few bonehead Commander's are going too ruin all that good will with antics like this, meddling in sinjar, we are not guests in Iraqi Kurdistan, attacking Iranian Kurds. Sinjar at the end of the day is better off in a free Iraqi Kurdistan and nor some canton that the world governments don't recognize. My 2 cents
Aram | 13/7/2015
Kurdistan has only one force and this called Pehshmerga i Kurdistan under one banner and one direction any other force will be considered as a JASH, "baby Donkey" Iraqi government trying to do everything to derail success achieved by Peshmerga By cutting Kurdistan region budget and buying mercenaries and other Arab former Saddam loyalist. Experience show that any mixed force with Peshmerga is prone to fail, e.g look at the Kerkuk and Jalaula front where PUks Peshmerga fighting ISIS and forcing ISIS out and later handing out the territory to Shia Militia this is totally another example is Kerkuk, became infected by all Shia militia. wake up people you cannot have mixed army of with micro management and a JASH army. This is what Shengal is suffering, because we have more than 6 different groups which is counter productive. Let Peshmerga Do the job NO Iraqi chicken Army no Shia militia
J.Dupont | 13/7/2015
Those men and women of courage willing to fight for Kurdistan must unite with the Peshmerga under the legitimacy of the Kurdish Government.This war is not a war of parties,it is our war of independence. May God bless Kurdistan.

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