ERBIL — The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has integrated its fighters in Sinjar region into the Iran-backed militias of Hashd al-Shaabi to maintain presence in the area despite the Erbil-Baghdad agreement, a source said.
Earlier in October, the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi federal government reached an agreement for the stabilization of the Yezidi populated areas of Sinjar. The deal required all foreign forces and armed groups outside the state’s control to leave the region.
However, Kurdish officials warned soon that the PKK will maintain its presence by disguising its fighters in the region.
According to the information obtained by BasNews, nearly 1,500 fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) — an armed group operating under the command of the PKK — have recently been integrated into Hashd al-Shaabi’s 80th Regiment in Sinjar.
The Hashd al-Shaabi had previously included nearly 1,000 YBS fighters in its payroll.
Sheikh Shamo, an advisor to Kurdistan Region prime minister for Yezidi affairs, told BasNews that the move is against the Erbil-Baghdad agreement, and it will hinder the efforts for stabilization in Sinjar.
“We are awaiting the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government of Iraq to take immediate actions,” he added, emphasizing that the agreement and its implementation should be closely observed by the United Nations and the US.