ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Commander of Ezidkhan Protection Units said on Thursday that the Kurdistan Region President has approved the decision that the Ezidi forces be under the umbrella of the Ministry of Peshmerga.
Haider Shasho, the Commander of Ezidkhan Protection Units, in an interview with Kurdistan24 in Slemani said that his unit will be under the umbrella of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga, following the approval of Masoud Barzani, the Kurdistan Region President.
“We requested that President Barzani and Ministry of Peshmerga approve the Ezidkhan Protection Units, known as HPE, as part of the Peshmerga forces,” Shesho said, adding that “President Barzani has approved our request.”
Shasho stated that in the initial phase, we reached an agreement to recruit 1,800 Ezidi fighters, but the decision was finalized to form a brigade of 1000 Ezidi fighters.
He explained that next week, Peshmerga Ministry will visit HPE base in Shingal to start the recruitment process.
“We take orders from the Ministry of Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Region President,” Shaho told Kurdistan24, adding that "our force will not enter any intra-Kurdish fighting but will always be ready to defend Kurdistan when required."
Regarding the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Shingal, Shasho said that PKK does not have any legitimacy to be present in the area, encouraging PKK and the KRG to solve this issue through dialogue and common understanding.
Shasho explained that majority of the areas under PKK control in Shingal are not Ezidi-populated and Arabs reside there, adding that these areas were not liberated by PKK forces rather Islamic State (IS) extremists fled the area without confrontations.
"I call on the PKK and its affiliated group to not use women and children against the Peshmerga forces deployed in the area," Shasho said, stating that bringing Ezidis to the border was not a good idea.
Shasho revealed to Kurdistan24 that he has asked the KRG to form a new political party, ‘Ezidi Democratic Party’ in the Kurdistan Region and the party has officially been recognized by the Iraqi government.
Editing by Ava Homa