West Ninewa Operations' commander: Army controls Shingal center

Ninewa, 2020: Iraqi forces deployed at the center of Shingal district. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow in Ninewa

The Iraqi army is now in charge of the security of center of Shingal district and locals to be recruited for a new force to be deployed in order to replace the army unit, a commander of the Iraqi army.

The center of Shingal district once home to several militant group following the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL, is now controlled by the Iraqi army as all militant groups are now are deployed in the outskirts and Mount Shingal.

Major General Jabar al-Taie, commander of West Ninewa Operations told Iraqi semi-official TV in a televised interview that Shingal agreement has been followed since December 1st 2021, Iraqi army deployed in town to replace non official armed groups.

“West Ninewa Operations’ command is in charge of district center assigned to Unit 20 and brigade 72 of the army,” al-Tai said.

“As part of Shingal agreement, we will recruit a number of Ezidi applicants for the security forces. Those who have failed the tests will be replaced.”

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.

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.


Duhok, 2020: Applicants queuing for employment form in front of office of mayor of Shingal, nominated by Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP, which has been relocated to Duhok province, following the dominance of pro-PKK forces in the Ezidi region.

Per Shingal agreement, 2,500 locals to be recruited from IDPs and local residents as security forces in order o replace the Iraqi army and undertake the security of the district while the turnout was over 10,000 applicants as unemployment is one of the key challenges post-ISIL era.

“We have tested 10,000 applicants but not all were fit physically and legally. The recruitment will be processed this year,” al-Taie added.

Regarding normalization of the circumstances in Shingal, al-Taie said state departments of electricity, municipality, court and nationality resumed working and “efforts mounted to compensate those the war caused damage and losses to them.

The war against ISIL cause severe damage to the infrastructure of Ninewa province in general and the Ezdi-populated region in particular leaving public unities in dire conditions.

The impoverished Ezidi (Yazidi) community whom still half back home and the rest prefer life under tents in the camps of Duhok province in the adjacent Kurdish region lead a severe life amid absence of security, basic public services and employment.

Following the war against ISIL, Baghdad, Erbil and the Autonomous Administrative Council compete to take upper hand in the region.

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 Mount Shingal. Ezidkhan Asayish (security) has about 1,000 fighters and is part of YBSh, in charge of the security in the area.

Ninewa, 2019: Security forces deployed in Shingal. KrkukNow

 Regarding the issue of IDPs, Al-Taie said some IDPs are afraid of tribal reprisal and others await proper public services.

“It is our duty to welcome back the IDPs safely at home following security check up.”

According to KRG office figures, out of 550,000 Ezidis, 360,000 were displaced, 160,000 back to Shingal, and 100,000 migrated abroad. The Iraqi government says 27,000 have not returned yet to Shingal and Ninewa suburbs.

Al-Taie said due to the long borders of the region with Syria, they have dug bunkers and, in some places, put fences with thermal cameras in order to stop infiltration across the borders.

A statement by Security Media Cell said on Tuesday that 62 Syrians were arrested while trying to cross the border into Iraq, west of Ninewa province.

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