ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Kurdistan Region Peshmerga commander said that Hashd al-Shaabi forces have not abided by the agreement between the Iraqi and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding the military operations in southern Shingal.
Sarbast Lezgin the commander of Peshmerga forces in Shingal said on Monday that Peshmerga forces are concerned about Hashd al-Shaabi's unilateral decision to launch a military operation to retake the Islamic State-held town of al-Qairawan in west Mosul.
Iraqi army and the Peshmerga forces had an agreement to have joint operations to retake the IS-held areas in southern Shingal, but Hashd al-Shaabi violated the agreement by launching the operation single-handedly, Lezgin told Anadolu Agency.
The Peshmerga commander warned Hashd al-Shaabi that no other troops other than Peshmerga would be accepted in the Kurdistan Region soil, stating that Hashd al-Shaabi's presence is a violation of the signed agreements between the Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi government.
Lezgin claimed that the main purpose of the Hashd al-Shaabi's operation to control the border areas and link with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and other Shia armed militias in Syria.
Hashd al-Shaabi spokesperson Ahmed al-Assadi in a press conference on Monday said the operation to retake the Iraqi-Syrian border areas from the IS extremists has entered its fourth day, stating that 35 villages have been recaptured so far.
Despite Peshmerga concerns, Hashd al-Shaabi spokesperson claimed that they are coordinating with the Peshmerga forces in Shingal area as both sides are in direct contact.
Assadi added that "our strategic aim for this operation is to control the Iraqi-Syrian border to prevent the infiltration of IS extremists to Iraq."
Editing by Ava Homa