Commander of pro-Iran paramilitary killed by Turkish airstrike in Shingal (Sinjar), Ninewa

Nineveh, November 2020: a number of commanders of pro-PKK Shingal (Sinjar) Resistance Units YBSh, Iraqi army, police, the popular Mobilization Forces PMF and federal police in the center of Shingal Sinjar district. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow

The commander of a regiment of pro-Iran paramilitary and two fighters have been killed in Shingal district of Ninewa province on Monday by a Turkish airstrike, local sources told KirkukNow, a year and a half after the killing of the former commander of the same battalion.

Pir Chiko, the commander of the 80th regiment of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF knowns as Hashid Shaabi, and two other fighters were killed in a Turkish air strike in Shingal on Monday afternoon, according to a police source.

"The bombing targeted a vehicle carrying Pir Chiko, the commander of the 80th regiment, and two other fighters," the source told KirkukNow on the condition of anonymity. The incident occurred in Khanasur community of Shingal district.

According to Kirkuk Now, the three men were former fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) and were later recruited by the PMF per an agreement that dates back to 2020.

Many of the fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ or YBSh) were merged into the General Board of PMF in 2020.

YBSh fighters are Ezidis and close to the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK, fighting Turkey since years and holding territories in Iraqi Kurdistan. When Shingal fell under grip of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS in August 2014, Iraqi troops backed by Kurdish Peshmarga (fighters) and pro- PKK fighters' ousted ISIS in October 2015 and deployed in several areas in the region.

Turkey-PKK conflict is a concern for Ezidis of Shingal as the Turkish army regularly conducts cross-border operations and air raids on PKK bases in northern Iraq. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed end of January 2021 to attack Shingal at any time in pursuit of PKK-affiliated groups based in the region.

On August 17, 2021, 10 people were killed and at least seven others wounded in a Turkish air strike targeted Shingal and the 80th regiment of PMF, including Saeed Hassan, a commander of the PMF 80th regiment.

More than 2,000 fighters who ousted IS and took control of Shingal late 2015 were recruited under the 80th regiment of PMF after the federal and Kurdistan Regional Governments KRG signed Sinjar agreement.

According to Shingal pact opposed by part of the Ezidis particularly supporters of pro-PKK groups, local police, national security and intelligence will be in charge of security downtown and the federal troops to be deployed in the outskirts.

Shingal, located 120 km west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, used to be home to over 100,000 adherents Ezidi ethno-religious minority and one of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. Ezidis also live in Shekhan, Bashiqa and other areas in Duhok Northern Province.

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 forces are deployed.

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

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