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Rudaw

Iraq

Shingal militia claims Baghdad providing salaries and arms

By Rudaw 9/1/2016
 Yezidi fighters in Shingal. AP File Photo
Yezidi fighters in Shingal. AP File Photo

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Baghdad has agreed to supply light arms and heavy weapons to the Shingal Protection Units (YBS), the commander of the militia force claimed, saying the Iraqi government also is paying the salaries of 500 fighters.

"Since last June, our forces have formally been recognized by the Iraqi government as part of the Hashd al-Shaabi,” said Saeed Hassan, referring to the Shiite militia that has been fighting alongside the Iraqi army against Islamic State (ISIS) forces.

“YBS is an Iraqi force operating within the framework of Hashd al-Shaabi," Hassan told Rudaw, while he also accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of creating hurdles for weapons arriving for his men.

"We have met with the Iraqi government several times, and officials vowed to supply us with heavy weapons, including tanks, armor and mortars, but the KRG is blocking the arrival of these weapons,” he claimed.

He said that the Shiite-dominated central government has allotted $3.6 million as salaries for 500 men, but claimed that the money was instead being shared among 1,200 fighters.

"We receive the salaries of 500 fighters from the Iraqi government, from which each fighter is supposed to receive $ 700, together with some logistical assistance. But we do not allocate the salaries to 500 fighters because we have 1,200 fighters, and each receives $400 dollars, accordingly," he explained.

The YBS includes both Yezidi and Muslim fighters, Hassan said. He explained they “are present at 32 positions in Shingal and its outskirts and many of them are on duty without being paid." 

Asked if Iraqi flags are flown at their positions, he said: “We are not from a foreign country, we are Iraqis. Therefore, it is normal to fly the Iraqi flag on our shelters."

In mid-November, the Kurdish military announced the liberation of the predominantly Yezidi town of Shingal in a two-day operation.

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Muraz Adzhoev | 9/1/2016
Those 500 or 1200 ignorants are acting against the Ezidi-Kurds in particular, the Kurdish people in general and Kurdistan as a whole. It is absolutely obvious and true that PKK(PYD) provocateurs stand behind those puppets, manipulating them in favor of Baghdad, Damascus and certainly Tehran.
M Gonzales
M Gonzales | 9/1/2016
These men don't or maybe they do realize they are merely the excuse for Iraq to claim Sinjar after Kurdistan becomes free.
Unity | 9/1/2016
yea your dumb yazidi kurd, did the iraqis safe you?, when you get cash you will chance from race..
Reality | 9/1/2016
KDP will not regain the trust and support among Yazidis, 5 seats in iraqi parliament gone in next elections. KDP is good at walking into towns and cities after air-strikes destroy their enemies, but when it matters they buckle, it was like this in the 1990s and it was like this in 2014.
Rebaz | 9/1/2016
What? This is not right I guess when we will be independent we'll give them shingal but my yezidi brothers I'll tell u now these shia militia will theow u under the bus 1 day they have no futur for u in a war torn irak but oh well we're about to be separated from "irak" biji kurdistan
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