Air strikes by Turkey and criminal incidents

Shingal (Sinjar): Seven people killed in three days

Ninewa, February 27, 2023: A vehicle carrying the commander of the 80th Regiment of the Popular Mobilization Forces PMF was burned in a Turkish raid. Roj News

By KirkukNow in Ninewa

Seven people, including a military commander, were killed in three days in air strikes and separate criminal incidents in the war-torn Shingal (Sinjar), home to the Ezidi (Yazidi community) in Ninewa Province.

On March 1, 2023, a Turkish air stirke targeted the vehicle that was carrying a commander in the Asayish Izidkhan forces in the center of Shingal, and he was killed on the spot.

Khudaida Alias, an official in charge of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ) in the Sinuni sub-district of Shingal, told KirkukNow, “The raid targeted the vehicle of Sherzad Qirani, an official of theEzidkhan Asayish, and he was killed instantly.”

"The site of bombing was only 300 meters away from the police station of Shingal, and the commander of the Asayish Izidkhan forces was targeted after he left and was 10 to 15 meters away from his headquarters," according to Elias.

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.

The Ezidkhan Asaiysh, which is part of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ), was formed after Shingal district was retaken from the grip of the extremist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS to secure the towns in the district; they number more than 1,000.

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.

Shingal Autonomous Administrative Council was formed years ago by several Ezidi, Arab and other components, and it is considered affiliated to PKK. The council is currently managing Shingal and Sinuny though not recognized by the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.


Ninewa, 2020: Two fighters of the Yazidikhan Asayish (security) forces in Shingal district. KirkukNow

The council is an umbrella for YBS (Yabsha), Ezidkhan Asayish, Women Resistance Unites YPZh and several other armed groups close to the Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK were founded and stationed in Shingal and its outskirts since 2014, after that the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL attacked Ninewa province, targeted the vulnerable Ezidi community, committing atrocities mounted to genocide, and took over large swathes of Iraq.

In a similar incident in the village of Bahravi, on February 27, 2023, two commanders of the 80th regiment of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF knowns as Hashid Shaabi, Pir Chiko and Akir Jaafari and a fighter escorting them, were killed in a Turkish air strike.

The 80th Regiment includes a large number of fighters from YBS who were merged in 2020 into the framework of the General Authority of the PMF.

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.

Sinjar, 2022: A group of young Yazidis gathered in the center of Sinjar to demand the implementation of four demands. Exclusive to (KirkukNow)

In a statement on Thursday, March 2, the Shingal Autonomous Administrative Council in Shingal called on the Iraqi government to abide by its responsibility for what is happening in Shingal, “if they do not want to become partners in the mass killing targeting the Yazidis."

There are currently two other administrations in Shingal, one of which was established in October 2017 and assumes its duties in the center of the district, and the other was formed after the last elections for the provincial councils and assumes its duties from Duhok.

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.

Also in Shingal, on February 25, the bodies of two teenager shepherds from the residents of the Khansur complex of Sinuny subdistrict, were found.

Khudaida Chuki, the mayor of Sinuny sub-district, told KirkukNow that Naji Haji Hamo, 14, and Hisham Hamo, 15, were killed while they were tending cattle.

“There is information indicating that the crime occurred due to family disputes.” Because the families of the perpetrator and the victim had previous disputes between them.

 Although the identity of the suspect in the murder is known, he has not yet been arrested, according to Chuki.


Shingal, June 15, 2022: The site of the Turkish attack that targeted the headquarters of Shingal Autonomous Council. Zinadin Amer Eido

Also on February 25, the body of a citizen was found inside an unfinished house in the center of Shingal.

A source in Shingal police anonymously told KirkukNow that “a file has been opened to investigate the case of the murder of the man and two teenagers in Sinuny, and investigations are under way,” without revealing any other details.

The official of the YBS in Sinuny said, "Turkey and other hands in Iraq do not want stability for the people of Sinjar and deliberately destabilize the situation in the district so that the displaced do not return to their homes."

The Yezidis constitute 30 percent of the total of 664,000 displaced persons in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR, and the fate of approximately 2,077 Yezidis who were kidnapped by ISIS since August 2014 is still unknown.

There are more than eight different armed groups within the borders of Shingal district, including the pro-Iran Shiite paramilitary PMF, Ezidikhan Asayish (security), Yabsha, the local police, the federal police, the Iraqi army, the Ezidkhan Peshmerga and the KRG Peshmerga forces stationed in a religious shrine.

According to the Shingal agreement concluded between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in October 2020 to reorganize the administrative, security and service file in the Shingal district, the local police, the intelligence service and the National Security Service, in coordination with the security forces of the KRG will be assigned to manage the security file of Shingal while the armed forces of the federal government will be deployed in the outskirts, including pro-Iran and pro-PKK groups.

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