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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Shiite force says they do not need Kurdish consent to enter Shingal

By Rudaw 26/5/2017
An Asaib Ahl-haq spokesperson said their forces do not need Kurdish consent to enter Shingal. Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP file photo
An Asaib Ahl-haq spokesperson said their forces do not need Kurdish consent to enter Shingal. Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP file photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A Shiite military leader has said that the decision for their forces to enter Shingal region will come from the Iraqi prime minister and they do not need Kurdish consent despite opposition raised by the Kurdish leadership against the Hashd al-Shaabi operating in Yezidi-populated areas.
 
Jawad Talibawi, spokesperson of the Asaib Ahl-haq, an armed group within the Hashd al-Shaabi, told Rudaw, “The decision allowing Hashd al-Shaabi forces to enter Shingal areas is at the hands of Haider al-Abadi, general commander of the Iraqi armed forces, and it does not need consent from Kurdish leaders.”
 
“Let them beat their heads against the wall if they do not like the decision,” Talibawi said.
 
He asserted that “the Hashd al-Shaabi will enter Shingal and will control the remaining areas still held by ISIS.”

Earlier this month, in a meeting with Shingal officials, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said that the Shiite forces must not enter Yezidi areas
 
Talibawi accused the Kurdish leadership of following an external agenda in opposing Hashd al-Shaabi operations to oust ISIS from the Shingal region, but reiterated that they operate under Abadi’s command “and do not need consent from Kurdish leaders.”
 
As a part of ongoing operations to retake areas from ISIS in northern Iraq, the Shiite force announced on Thursday it had cleared the extremist group out Qairawan completely.
 
There are 13 villages and complexes in Qairawan town in the Shingal region. The area is disputed, claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad and subject to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.

The center of Qairawan town is inhabited by Arabs, but the surrounding complexes and villages including Tal Banat, Tal Qasab, Kocho, and Gir Azer are mostly Yezidi.

The bulk of the villages in Qairawan town were declared controlled by the Hashd forces, most notably Kocho village, the hometown of ISIS survivor and UN goodwill ambassador Nadia Murad. 
 
In response to the remarks made by Talibawi, Mahma Khalil, Shingal mayor, told Rudaw that the Kurdish Peshmerga do need take permission from the Hashd al-Shaabi to protect Shingal and other areas.
 
“Where was Asaib Ahl al-Haq three years ago when the Peshmerga re-controlled Shingal?” he asked. “The Peshmerga does not take permission from the Hashd al-Shaabi to protect Shingal and other areas.”
 
“We do not want these areas destroyed again,” he said, adding that it was the Hashd who were executing an external conspiracy.
 
“There is probability they execute an external plot to demolish this region,” he suggested.
 
About what force should protect Yezidi areas, Khalil said, “It is the Yezidis deciding that. The Hashd al-Shaabi has not become their decision maker.” 

Welcoming the announcement that ISIS had been forced out of Kocho, Nadia Murad issued a statement in which she warned against rival armed groups continuing to bring violence to Yezidi lands.

“Our fear today is that the Yazidi homeland in Sinjar will be divided into three or more regions and the opposing factions will fight for control on our land – not to advance the dignity of our people," Murad wrote.

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Muraz Adzhoev | 26/5/2017
Perhaps Kurdistan authorities know very well what is going on there, what and how to do to respond agequately. However it has taken too long already and the situation in Shingal becomes too much strange and dangerous, especially having in mind the referendum on reintegration of Kurdish areas and independence of Southern Kurdistan from the bloody and criminal state of Iraq.
guest worker | 26/5/2017
This disaster will either lead to Turkey invading Shengal or Iran invading Shengal, and all because of KDP-PKK revelry. They rather let our enemies take such a strategic area than let the other party control it
Gic | 26/5/2017
the yezidis are making a historical mistake, shia arabs are no better than sunni arabs. don't commit treason just because you're angry at KDP, you are this close to gaining your own region! side with bagdad and you will never see it, bagdad never delivered or offered you anything these past 14 years, you forgot that part very quickly
dire straights | 26/5/2017
Brilliant strategy! sit and watch as Iranian backed militias take one Ezidi village after the other! which has lead to hundreds of Ezidis joining their ranks! Soon KRG will have zero legitimacy in Shengal, what argument are you going to use to stay? the Ezidis want you there? not anymore!
PublishMeFam | 26/5/2017
Why didn't the Peshmerge liberate those areas? They had the time, weapons and an army ready to attack? It is simply because they didn't want to and they've let the Yazidis suffer, no wonder 2000 of them defected from the Peshmerga and joined the Haashd in the last 5 days.
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