Two militants of anti-Turkey Sinjar Resistance Units killed in Sinjar

Two militants killed, third injured when a car exploded in Sinjar district, Nineveh, November 13, 2023. Images posted on social media platforms

By Ammar Aziz

Two militants killed and another injured while driving a car in Shingal (Sinjar) district of Nineveh province on Tuesday at night yet it is not clear whether the explosion was caused by an explosive device or a drone attack.

The explosion occurred at 10 o'clock last night (November 13) in the middle of the Sinuny sub-district, where the vehicle was carrying three militants of Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ or YBSh).

Khudida Chuki, the mayor of Sinuny, told KirkukNow, “The vehicle that was targeted belonged to the Yabsha forces. We do not yet know whether it was a result of a bombing by Turkish aircraft or an explosive device. The relevant authorities are in the process of investigating the incident.”

“After the explosion, the vehicle burned. The ages of the militants are between 20 and 25 years,” he added.

Most of YBSh fighters are Ezidis (Yazidis) and close to the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK, fighting Turkey since 1980s and holding territories in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR and the disputed territories.

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.

YBSh fighters follow the Shingal Autonomous Administrative Council. This Council was formed by the components of Sinjar district after 2015 to manage the affairs of the region, but it is not recognized by the Iraqi federal government.

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.

Khudida Elias, head of the Autonomous Administration Council in Sinuny, affirmed the vehicle targeted belonged to the Yabsha forces. Two of the gunmen who were inside it were killed and it is not yet clear whether it was targeted by a Turkish plane or an explosive device.

“Investigations are ongoing."

On September 17, Turkish aircraft targeted a vehicle belonging to YBSh, killing three gunmen.

More than 2,000 fighters who ousted IS and took control of Shingal late 2015 were recruited under the 80th regiment of pro-Iran paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces 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 PMF, YBSh and Ezidkhan Asayish which are pro-PKK, federal and local Police, Iraqi army and the KRG Peshmerga.

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