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Rudaw

Iraq

Source: thousands of Shiite militiamen, arms brought into Kirkuk

8/1/2015
Shiite militias have risen up across Iraq since the ISIS advance in June. Photo: AP.
Shiite militias have risen up across Iraq since the ISIS advance in June. Photo: AP.

by Hunar Ahmad

KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region – Shiite militias in Iraq have bolstered their numbers in oil-rich Kirkuk province, with a total of 8,000 militiamen deployed in four military training bases in the outskirts of Kirkuk.

“Nearly 4,000 Shiite militia fighters from the south, led by commander Muhammad Taqi, have been receiving military training in the Qadirkaram and Amirli bases,” a source told Rudaw.

They are mainly active members of Shiite armed groups that include Khorasan, Hezbollah, the Badr brigade and Asaib al-Haq. They have also formed a paramilitary force of 550 Shiite fighters inside the city of Kirkuk.

The source told Rudaw that the senior commander of the Shiite militias, named Qambar Mahmood, has overseen the transportation of more than 3,000 various weapons to the militias in the past two weeks alone.

The increasing number of Shiite militia fighters has bred anxiety among Kirkuk residents. Some are concerned about possible confrontations between the Shiite militias and the Peshmerga forces in the future, while others believe the presence of the Shiite militias is to control Kirkuk and the disputed territories.

When asked about the purpose of the Shiite militias in Kirkuk, Najat Hussein, the head of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in Kirkuk, said it was to celebrate victory against the Islamic State alongside Peshmerga forces this upcoming spring.

The Arab Sunni members of the Kirkuk provincial council have been against any participation of the Shiite militias in operations to liberate their towns and villages around Kirkuk. Instead, they demand the formation of local paramilitary forces to liberate their areas from ISIS.

Iraq’s national security advisor, Falh Fayaz, during a visit to Kirkuk announced a government plan to increase the presence of Shiite militias and form local national guards in Kirkuk. 

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M Gonzales | 8/1/2015
I like you kurds but sometimes I just don't understand how you can let the Arabs do the things they do. Allowing militia's inside Kirkuk is beyond ignorant regardless of reasons given. You all need to stop all this Puk peshmerga or that party loyal peshmerga and form a national army Peshmerga that has no loyalty to any one party pr religion. Please for the love of all that's good after sinjar shift your forces to kirkuk and kick out all these clowm militias. Your whole future hinges on holding onto kirkuk and your allowing Militias to form in kirkuk that are only loyal to Iran or Iraq ..
Questioning Washington | 8/1/2015
The Arabs are about to invade Kerkuk and Kurdistan.We,Kurds,were not scared from the genocide of Saddam,-why to stay so inactive before this new Arab invasion ?.The US administration sends 250 armored vehicles to the Shia Arabs but only 25 to the Kurds.Do the Americans prefer the Arabs who killed 4000 American soldiers between 2003 and 2011 ?.Is the Shia Arab terror better than the Sunni Arab terror in the eyes of Washington?.Not even one single American soldier was killed or hurt in the Kurdish region.Why do the Americans bow to the Arab terror and sacrifice easily the friendly,brave and faithful Kurds ?.
noor | 8/1/2015
How can you print this if its only from a source. Have you not done any research. what if this sauce is only lies. quite unbelievable.
Rawaz a | 8/1/2015
I dont get why the KRG is allowing them to even set foot in Kirkuk. If Kirkuk was controlled by PKK this kind of thing would not have happened. KRG leaders wont realize that the shiite are as much trouble as ISIS until it is too late.
ARGUSHI (USA) | 8/1/2015
Please do not trust Shiite militias, They are just like a snake, they could bite at any time. Where were they in June when ISIS TERRORISTS were closing in on Kirkuk. But they rather have Isis captured Kirkuk Vs. our brave peshmerga. LONG LIVE SAROK BARZANI...LONG LIVE PESHMERGA...LONG LIVE UNITED STATE
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