Shingal pro-PKK Council suspends work in state departments

Ninewa, 2019- a main street downtown of Shingal (Sinjar) district, home of the Ezidi community. KirkukNow

By Ammar Aziz in Ninawa

The Autonomous Administration Council in Sinjar suspended work in government departments and non-governmental organizations in Shingal (Sinjar) district, due to the continued bombing of Turkish warplanes, a step provoked the discontent of the Ninewa administration which is pushing to stand in the face of the decision and keep doors of state departments open.

On Sunday, December 12, 2021, the Autonomous Administration Council instructed Sinjar government departments and organizations to stop working hours until further notice.

Khudeda Elias, in charge of the Autonomous Administration Council in Shingal, told KirkukNow, "We are tired of the statements of Iraqi officials about the threat to take a stand against the Turkish raids on the ground, so we decided to stop working hours in all government departments, except for hospitals and schools until further notice."

The last raid launched by Turkish planes took on December 11th targeted the headquarters of the Autonomous Administration Council in Khana Sur in Sinjar, which was previously the headquarters of the Lalish Cultural and Social Center.

On December 7th, a Turkish bombardment targeted the vehicle of Marwan Badal Haji, the head of the Sinjar Struggle Units YBSh. Haji was killed and his two daughters were slightly injured.

The decision was right because if we do not take this step, the ethnic government will not take a position

"The decision was right because if we do not take this step, the ethnic government will not take a position. We wonder how long Turkey will bomb our areas whenever it wants to while the Iraqi government is silent. What should we do? Even the demonstrations and protests were useless," Elias enthusiastically said.

"Any government department or non-governmental organization that violates the decision must bear the responsibility for the safety of its employees," Elias vowed.

The Autonomous Administrative Council in Sinjar was founded years ago by several Ezidi (Yazidi), Arab parties and other components and is considered close to the Kurdistan Workers Party, which is fighting turkey since 1980s and holds territories in Iraqi Kurdistan region and the disputed territories.

The council is currently managing judicial affairs though not recognized by the federal government in Baghdad or the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.

Shingal Autonomous administrative Council is a local civil administration backed by the locals supporting pro-PKK groups: Ezidkhan Asayish (security), Shingal Struggle units YBSh and YPZh (Women Protection Units) based in Shingal Mountain. Ezidkhan Asayish (security) has about 1,000 fighters and is part of YBSh, in charge of the security in the area.

Some local department disagree with the local council as it negatively impacts daily life of ordinary people.

Barakat Issa, director of the Agriculture Division in Sinuni district, told (KirkukNow), "I received the decision, but I have not implemented it yet. If no party protects us, then we will have to implement the decision, although that is not the solution, because this is a regional and international issue. "

He added that what worries them is the emergence of problems for citizens due to the interruption of work hours, so they support resorting to other methods and measures against the Turkish bombing.


Ninewa, 2019: A vehicle of Shingal Struggle Units YBSh was targeted by Turkish aircraft. Kirkuk Now

End of October 2020, the fighters of YBSh withdrew from their bases and offices in Shingal to the outskirts in order to deploy Iraqi federal police according to Shingal agreement between Baghdad and Erbil. Part of them has joined regiment 80 of pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces PMF.

In October 2020, the Iraqi government and the KRG signed the Shingal Agreement aimed to reorganize the security and administrative sectors in the district, under which local police, national security and intelligence run the security of the town, while the Iraqi army forces would be deployed in the suburbs yet it has not been fully implemented up today.

The agreement was hailed by Baghdad, Erbil, USA, United Nations and Ankara as it leaves no excuse for any militia including the PKK to stay in town.

In the Ezidi-dominant region of Shingal, only three thousand square kilometers, Baghdad federal and Erbil regional governments compete to establish their rule: three local administrations want to administer the district, and eight different armed groups are deployed.

The militant groups are PMF, YBSh and Ezidkhan Asayish which are pro-PKK, federal and local Police, Iraqi army and the Kurdistan Regional Government's KRG Peshmerga.

During the past year, the Turkish army was carrying out cross-border operations and air strikes targeting several areas of Shingal several times where headquarters of officials close to the Kurdistan Workers Party are located.

Ali Gabo, the assistant governor of Nineveh for Organizations and IDPs affairs, told KirkukNow, "The Autonomous Administration Council is not legitimate. It does not have the authority at all to stop work in the districts. They and their decisions do not have legitimacy, so we will not allow the decision to be implemented."

Gabo pointed out that the governorate administration asked the security services in Shingal to deploy forces in front of state departments so that no one prevents them from working.

Suspension of work (in state departments) is a red line

The deputy governor of Ninewa said the administration of Ninewa has informed the Iraqi federal government about the decision of the Autonomous Administration Council.

"Certainly, the government will have strict positions because stopping work is a red line. We are also resentful of the Turkish bombing, but this problem will not be solved by stopping work hours," Gabo affirmed.

"We have information that the Autonomous Administration Council intends to organize demonstrations and protests, so it is working to stop working hours so that large numbers of citizens to participate in these demonstrations."

On October 17, 2017, the forces of the federal government entered Sinjar district, and in return the forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government withdrew, after the relations between the two governments worsened due to the independence referendum launched by Kurdistan Region.

Since then, there are two administrations in Shingal, one of which is based in Sinjar, and was formed after the events of October 16 and manages judicial affairs, while the other administration, which was formed since 2013, based in Dohuk Northern Province.

The Ezidi community blame Iraqi and Kurdish forces for turning their back to them when barbaric militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL stormed their region and committed atrocities amounted to genocide lately recognized by European parliaments.

They found the pro-PKK forces as the only way to protect their community and restore safety and stability. They accuse the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP which was the senior Kurdish player in the region of collaboration with Turkey against pro-PKK groups.

Shingal, located 120 west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, on the border of Iraq-Syria, is home to the Ezidi religious community considered infidels by the extremist militants of ISIL and part of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

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