Did Pro-PKK Yabsha Kidnap Five Arab Girls in Nineveh?

A force affiliated with the Sinjar Resistance Units (Yabsha), west of Nineveh, Nineveh. Media of Yabsha

By KirkukNow

Four of the five girls who disappeared from the village of Umm al-Dhiban in Nineveh Governorate returned to their families, while the latter decided to stay with the Shingal (Sinjar) Resistance Units Yabsha (YBS or YBSh).

A video clip sent to (KirkukNow) showed the five girls giving them a choice between returning to their families or remaining in the ranks of the Yabsha. The video clip was documented on Thursday, May 30, in the presence of a number of Yabsha and Iraqi commanders. Four of the girls chose to return except one who decided to stay.

Azad Hussein, a member of the SHingal Autonomous Administrative Council of the YBS, denied that they had kidnapped or arrested anyone, as published in some media and social networks.

This comes a day after the people of the village of Umm Al-Dhiban gathered on May 29 in the Al-Qahtaniyah sub-district (Tel Uzair), affiliated with Al-Baaj district, and declared a state of alert and took up arms in preparation for retrieving the girls, while the Iraqi Security Forces ISF deployed in the area in anticipation of any emergency.

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

When the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS took large swathes of Iraq including Shingal in August 2014, the Iraqi troops backed by Kurdish Peshmarga (fighters) and pro- PKK fighters ousted IS in October 2015. They deployed in several areas in the region.

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, where eight different armed forces are deployed.

Video: Five girls from the village of Umm Al-Dhiban were given a choice between returning to their families or remaining in the ranks of the Yabsha, Nineveh, May 2024.

A source from the families of the five girls in the village of Umm al-Dhiban told Kirkuk Now, “The girls volunteered within the ranks of the Yabsha forces without the knowledge of their families, in exchange for a monthly salary.”

The residents of Umm Al-Dhiban village are Arab, and the village is located on the Iraqi-Syrian border within the borders of Nineveh Province.

A source in the Shingal police who requested to remain anonymous told KirkukNow, “The girls volunteered to join the ranks of the Yabsha, but their families do not want to admit their daughters went by themselves, so they threatened to get them back.”

YBSh fighters follow the Shingal Autonomous Administrative Council. This Council was formed by the components of the Shingal district in 2015 to manage the war-torn region, but neither the Iraqi federal nor the Kurdistan Regional Governments KRG recognized them.

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

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