PKK-affiliated Shingal Protection Units (YBS) fighters on Mount Shingal. Photo: ANF/File
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Local authorities in Nineveh want no delay in bringing federal security forces into Shingal after the PKK announced it will withdraw from the region.
Nofal Hamadi, Nineveh governor, announced they have called on Baghdad to station a significant amount of troops in Shingal.
"The situation in Shingal is different as it an [ethnically] mixed area," he said. "It was subjected to religious violence during ISIS. Thus, urgent security measures must be taken to secure it once the PKK has withdrawn,” he said.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) this week announced the withdrawal
of its fighters from Shingal, saying that the Yezidi population no longer faces a security threat and the Iraqi government is capable of providing security in the area.
Their announcement followed on the heels of Turkish threats to carry out a military operation against the PKK in Shingal and the group’s headquarters in the Qandil mountains of the Kurdistan Region.
The PKK deployed forces to Shingal in 2014 to help defend the Yezidis against the genocidal campaign of ISIS.
Earlier this month, the Nineveh Provincial Council called on all armed groups, including the PKK and the Hashd al-Shaabi, to withdraw from Shingal, stating that civilians had requested the administration return and resume services.
ISIS captured Shingal on August 3, 2014, committing genocide against the Yezidis. The town was liberated in November 2015 by a coalition of Kurdish forces, including KRG Peshmerga and PKK fighters.
The Peshmerga withdrew from Shingal, a disputed area claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad, last October after military confrontations between the two sides following the Kurdish vote for independence.