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Inside Tuz Khurmatu: Kurdish homes targeted under Hashd rule

By Hunar Ahmed 26/11/2017
KHURMATU, Kurdistan Region – Many houses in the Kurdish neighbourhoods of Tuz Khurmatu have been looted, burned and bombed, or appear to have been appropriated by the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi.

Rudaw’s war correspondent Hunar Ahmad and cameraman Mohammed Jawhar documented widespread destruction in the ethnically diverse town – the first investigative report by Kurdish media since the town fell to Iraqi forces and Shiite militia on October 16.

About 3,000 houses appear to have been confiscated – Shiite Turkmen slogans are scrawled on the walls. About 2,000 houses have been looted, according to figures from Kurdish parties. Some 400 houses have been set on fire and more than 50 have been bombed.

The home of an official looks like it was looted of all its contents before being bombed and burned. Just the basic structure remains.

The houses that were targeted mainly belong to volunteer Peshmerga or those who cooperated with the Peshmerga.

A local guide with Rudaw’s team helped them to avoid Hashd checkpoints inside the city. Rudaw is banned from operating in Iraqi-controlled areas.

The guide described the tense situation of the now-abandoned Kurdish areas in Khurmatu, southeast of Kirkuk.

"The Kurds are afraid to come back,” he said, driving the Rudaw team through scarred neighbourhoods.

“The Sunni Arabs from the town were told they will be safe if they returned to their homes. But to this day, they are being killed. There was a bombing the other day that killed 70 to 80 of them, and injured 90. This is what makes people afraid to return."

He said the Kurds are afraid they will suffer the same fate.

“Last night they bombed two more houses. One belongs to a Kurd who is called Jahangir,” he added, explaining why it is hard for Kurds to trust the forces now based in the town.

Banners that paid tribute to fallen Peshmerga have been burned. Buildings of Kurdish parties have been burned or bombed, or turned into a base for Iraqi forces.

Graffiti on the wall of the moderate Islamic Kurdistan Union reads “No, no for the traitors. Yes, yes for united Iraq.”

The destruction was also evident in one of the town’s markets, Halwest Bazaar, where about 180 shops were looted and burned. Other large markets in Khurmatu suffered the same fate.

Hashd al-Shaabi fighters and the Federal Police prevent residents from moving to other areas, confiscating their belongings and giving no reason for stopping the people.


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Muraz Adzhoev | 26/11/2017
As the Kurdish national leader Masoud Mustafa Barzani has said, the People of Southern Kurdistan did not fail, but suffered betrayal, and its will and patriotic determination were not destroyed. Yes, territorial reintegration, humanitarian reunification and sovereign independence of Southern Kurdistan is not a very long-cherished dream any more, because due to the absolutely legitimate, justified and convincing outcome of the Referendum on 25.09.2017 it is already victoriously approaching geopolitical reality, despite of Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish regimes enmity and hostility towards the ancient Kurdish national culture, history, original spiritual outlook, heritage and geography.
Shame on Hero and Bafel, AK USA | 27/11/2017
Thanks to Hero and her older son. Our brave Peshmerga would have never let this EVIL people enter Kurdish city's and villages. We hope and pray that who ever was responsible for this crimes will be brought to justice including Hero and Her older son. Shame on them.
Shame, Ak USA | 27/11/2017
Thank you Rudaw for showing this tragedy to the world so they can see there is no different between Isis terrorists and Hashd al-Shaabi why is president Trump silent. why are the Arab leaders silent/ why is the would leaders silent. Shame on all of them. it is so sad the world is letting this EVIL"S getaway with theses crimes.
Curse the Talabanis | 27/11/2017
I want to curse the Talabani family for they betrayal and for what has happened (and still happening) to the Kurds; and I do! But, I also hold the Peshmerga leadership responsible for carrying out an illegal order to withdraw from Kirkuk and other Kurdish territories. They had sacrificed the lives of thousands of their troops in the fight against ISIS to liberate those lands. Why did they agree to surrender them to the Iranian-backed Shiite militias? Why did they follow an order that was against the Kurdish National interests? The Peshmerga leadership should answer to these questions? I am as mad at them as I am mad at the traitor and dishonorable Talabani family.
Tuz | 27/11/2017
United States of America has received iraq with all Kurdistan territories to Iran. So there is no any American influence in Iraq. The facts show that not only Iraq has been influenced by Iranian politic but also we see that in Syria and Lobnan or rather we can say all the middle eastern countries.
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