Despite 28 casualties in latest clashes

No deal about Shingal (Sinjar) fragile security

Shingal, March 11, 2021: Ezidikhan Asayish forces affiliated to Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK are on alert in fear of clashes with the Iraqi army. Ibrahim Ezidi

By Ammar Aziz

The Iraqi army failed to reach an agreement with the forces of Asayish Ezidkhan and the Shingal Resistance Units (Yabsha) to manage the security situation in the war-torn Shingal district, following clashes over the past two days resulted in the death of one of the members of the Yabsha and the wounding of 27 others, most of whom were in the ranks of the Iraqi army.

On Thursday, April 21, a high-level delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense headed by Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army arrived in Shingal and met with the leaders of the army and forces close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the wake of the confrontations that erupted between the two sides over the security file of the district.

Khudeda Alias, Chairman of the Autonomous Administration Council in Sinuny sub-district of Shingal district, told (KirkukNow), "Our representative participated in the meeting. The discussions in general addressed the recent tensions and the security situation in Shingal.

“Although some solutions were proposed, but the meeting could not conclude a final agreement,” Alias added without mentioning further details about the proposed solutions.

Clashes between the forces of Ezidkhan Asayish and the Iraqi army took place on 18 and 19 April, after an army force requested the Ezidkhan Asayish to evacuate a military post near Sinuny.

According to the latest statistics obtained by (KirkukNow) from the Autonomous Administration Council in Shingal, the confrontations in which heavy and light weapons were used, left one fighter of the Yabsha dead and three others wunded, in addition to the injury of 21 soldiers of the Iraqi army and three civilians.

Alias ​​stressed that "a high-level security delegation from Shingal will visit Baghdad next week, including our representative. The delegation is expected to meet the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The visit will be an extension of Thursday's meeting with the aim of addressing security problems in Shingal."

According to the Shingal Agreement concluded between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in October 2020 to reorganize the security, administrative and public service sectors in Shingal district, the local police, the National Security Service NSS and the Intelligence will handle the security situation inside Shingal while the armed forces of the federal government to be deployed at the outskirts. As for the forces close to thePKK, they will not be given any security or administrative role and has to evacuate the area.

Ninewa, 2017: An armed force affiliated with the Shingal Resistance Units Yabasha in Shingal. Media of Yabsha

Shingal agreement was rejected by the Autonomous Administration Council in Shingal - which has been formed since 2019 by the various components of the Shingal with the aim of managing the security and administrative affairs.

Yabsha and the Ezidkhan Asayish forces, which are close to the PKK, fighting Turkey since 1980s and holding territories in Iraq, are under the authority of the Autonomous Administration Council in Shingal.

PKK fighters have secured a safe escape for the Ezidis back in 2014 when extremist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS stormed Ninewa province and took large swathes of Iraq.

Later in 2015, Yabsha and Ezidikhan Asayish played an important role in restoring the district from the grip of ISIS. A large part of the Yabasha forces is affiliated with the Shiite paramilitary of the Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, including payrolls.

"The situation is now stable, but there is dispute between the Iraqi army and our forces, the military point that led to the outbreak of the clashes in Sinuniy was handed over to the local police," said Alias.

On Thursday, April 21, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued a statement regarding the Shingal meeting, stressing the need to "reconsider security plans in accordance with security challenges and developments, as well as paying attention to the soldiers and meeting all their needs and requirements."

But Khudida Elias affirmed, "We also want to put an end to the tension and confrontations in Shingal, but not at the expense of Yabasha and Ezidikhan Asayish. We will not evacuate this area."

In Mid-March, the local administration of war-torn Shingal declared a midnight to dawn curfew effective from March 16th to further notice for security reasons. Observers in Shingal say that Iraqi security forces were lately targeted by bombs fired by the groups affiliated to the PKK.

The locals are upset with the instability intrigued by the deployment of several armed parties in the area.

There are more than eight different armed groups within the borders of Shingal district, including the PMF, Ezidikhan Asayish (security), Yabsha, the local and federal police, the Iraqi army, the Ezidkhan Peshmerga and the KRG Peshmerga (Kurdish fighter) forces.

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