Shabak Kurds fleeing ISIS in Mosul. Photo: ICSSI
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--The Shabak minority in Nineveh province wants only the Peshmerga to liberate their homes from the Islamic State (ISIS), saying that the operation of Iraqi forces in their areas will create decades of strife.
“Participation of any other Iraqi forces will open the hostile and revenge front for tens of years with the Shabaks,” Salim al-Shabaki, a representative of Shabaks in the Iraqi parliament, told Summaria news on Tuesday.
“The Shabaks won’t accept participation of any other forces except the Peshmerga to liberate their villages from ISIS, despite their respect to all other security forces under different names,” he added.
Al-Shabaki said that the Peshmerga have liberated some Shabak villages recently and he believes they will liberate the remaining villages soon.
He emphasized that Shabaks are ethnically Kurdish and want their areas in Nineveh annexed with the Kurdistan Region after the war with ISIS, noting that “we have moved 6,700 Shabak families from the southern provinces to the Kurdistan Region.”
“The Shabaks are part of the Kurdish nation, and they will enjoy same rights like their Kurdish brothers in all Nineveh soon, and like the residents of Kurdistan, our areas will return to Erbil, Dohuk, and Sulaimani provinces. Shabaks support establishing a new province in their area to become part of the Kurdistan Region,” he said.
The Shabak representative earlier in July told Rudaw that there should be a road map before the Mosul offensive that all entities in the province agree to, one in which the Shabak minority become part of the Kurdistan Region.
“So far we have 1,384 martyrs and 208 Shabaks who are still held captive by ISIS and their fate is unknown,” he said. “Therefore we won’t stay with Mosul. We want to incorporate with the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and become the fifth province of the Kurdistan Region.”
There are 56 Shabak villages in Nineveh which are in Qaraqush, Nimrud, Bartle, Tel Kaif and Bashiqa. The Shabak are an ethnic and cultural minority living in northern Iraq.