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Iraqi forces, Shiite militia control series of Peshmerga-held areas

By Rudaw 17/10/2017
The Kurdish Peshmerga liberated the Yezidi town of Shingal in late 2015 from the ISIS militants who took it in 2014. File photo: Getty Images
The Kurdish Peshmerga liberated the Yezidi town of Shingal in late 2015 from the ISIS militants who took it in 2014. File photo: Getty Images


Iraqi forces control Khanaqin, Snune. Bashiqa fate unknown


Iraqi troops and the Hashd al-Shaabi forces have taken control of Khanaqin in the Diyala province and Bashiqa near Mosul on Tuesday morning, Hashd said in a statement.

A Rudaw reporter said that the Peshmerga withdrew from Khanaqin following an agreement with the Peshmerga commanders as the forces were advancing.

The Yezidi town of Snune, near Shingal, is now also under the Hashd al-Shaabi, Rudaw has learned.

A Kurdish commander, Hasan Afandi stationed in Bashiqa, insists that they are still present in the town, disputing the Hashd statement.




2:51 p.m.

CORRECTION: Border crossings with Iran are under Kurdish control

Two Kurdish officials have confirmed to Rudaw that the Kurdish border crossings with Iran are under the full control of the Kurdish authorities and that the Iraqi forces are not present there. 

“The claim that the Hashd al-Shaabi forces have entered the border ports between the Kurdistan Region and Iran is not true,” Samal Abdulrahman, director general of the Kurdistan Region’s customs told Rudaw.

“No Iraqi force has come to the border port which remains closed by Iran,” Aram Sayakhan, media and relations officer of the Parwezkhan told Rudaw. 

Earlier Rudaw reported erroneously that the Parvezkhan border crossing gate had been taken by the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi.  



12:13 p.m.

Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi takes control of Gwer, Makhmour, Parvezkhan border crossing

Peshmerga forces have pulled out of the town of Makhmur and Gwer and have given up some of their bases to US forces, but Hashd al-Shaabi has not entered the town as of yet.

Sirwan Barzani, commander of the Gwer-Makhmur front, spoke to Rudaw saying that they have withdrawn their forces from inside Makhmur and have spoken with Iraqi forces to be there in coordination with them.

The Hashd al-Shaabi militia has also reached Parvezkhan border crossing gate on the Kurdistan Region-Iran border.  

Mahmood Sangawi, commander of the Peshmerga forces on the Garmaser front told Rudaw on Monday night that in a meeting with the Diyala governor and the province’s police chief they agreed for the Peshmerga to stay in areas it recently holds.

He said they also formed a coordination committee.

They also agreed to reactivate the joint checkpoints of before June 10, 2014, the day when ISIS took over large swathes of territory in northern Iraq.

He said they also agreed that no party should control government institutions in the province. 




11:44 a.m. 

Iraqi forces control Shingal, Kirkuk oil fields

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi forces, supported by the Iranian-backed Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi have continued to take control of more areas that were previously held by the Kurdish Peshmerga for the second day in a row. They are now in control of the symbolic Yezidi town of Shingal and Bai Hassan oil field in Kirkuk, one of Kurdistan’s sources of revenue.

The Hashd said in a statement Tuesday that they are now in full control of Bai Hassan.
The head of the Iraqi-run North Oil Company in Kirkuk, Farid al-Jadir said that the Iraqi forces took Avana oil field as well in the oil-rich and diverse city of Kirkuk, according to the Iraq Oil Report.
Iraq’s Joint Command stated Monday that they controlled Babagur Gur oil field as they pushed the Kurdish Peshmerga out of Kirkuk without much resistance. With this, Iraq now has complete control over all of Kirkuk oil fields in a big blow to the Kurdistan economy that depends on oil revenues.

The Kurdish Peshmerga also withdrre or pushed back from Khurmatu, Daquq, and Gulala or Jalawla since Monday.

All the areas that are lost by the Peshmerga are part of the Kurdistani or disputed areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. Iraq says that it wants to impose its authority on all of Iraq, especially in the disputed areas after the Kurdish September 25 vote on independence. 
The mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi are also in control of the Yezidi town of Shingal or Sinjar, west of Mosul, after the withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga from their positions, a day after the Iraqi-led forces controlled the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces initially engaged in a 20-minute battle when attacked by the Hashd forces east of Shingal, but no fighting took place in the town itself.
A Peshmerga unit in Singal, called the Shingal Command,  said in a statement that they reached an agreement with the Yezidi fighters of the Hashd al-Shaabi to prevent any bloodshed.
“This morning [Tuesday], these Yazidi Peshmerga along with a group of Yazidis with the Hashd al-Shaabi have agreed between themselves not to fight and prevent bloodshed. The Yazidi members of the Hashd al-Shaabi have entered the town of Shingal.”
The ISIS militants captured Shingal on August 3, 2014. It was liberated in November 2015 by a coalition of Kurdish forces, including the Peshmerga and the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers's Party.
In May, Iranian-Backed Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi forces launched a military campaign named “Shingal Martyr’s” that retook a number of villages in the Shingal region including Yezidi’s Kocho, the symbol of ISIS atrocities.
When ISIS militants attacked Shingal and its surroundings in August 2014, they arrested thousands of Yezidis, many from the village of Kocho. Some of them were killed collectively in the village and the fates of the rest are unclear to date.  
Shingal falls under the disputed zones claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad and subject to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. The Shiite forces took control of the Yezidi villages of Tal Banat, Tal Qasab, Kocho and Gir Azer in Shingal from ISIS in May.


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Enkiu | 17/10/2017
need to rename Peshamerga to "Those that withdraw in the face of death". How is that in Kurdish? I am sorry to say... but I think Kurdistan is finished. RIP
bain | 17/10/2017
What the hell is going on? Why are peshmerga not resisting anywhere?? Kirkuk was blamed on PUK even though thousends of other troops were stastioned there what about Shengal? Both KDP and PKK were present! What the HELL IS GOING ON?
David | 17/10/2017
False story. Ezidi units of the PMU are in Sinjar. Nice try Rudaw, poor propaganda
Proud Kurd | 17/10/2017
Our main priorities are Arbil like, Duhok, and Slemaniyah. Traitors should be trialed. Our politicians are corrupt. We need to calm down our situation. Iraq, Iran and Turkey will take advantage of a weak Kurdistan.
Hoshyar Zaxoy | 17/10/2017
This is not war but just misunderstanding of "movement of troops"
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