ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Iraqi Shia Hashd al-Shaabi forces released three Peshmerga fighters they captured on Monday near Bashiqa, 13 kilometers east of Mosul city.
A Kurdistan24 reporter on Tuesday said that the Hashd al-Shaabi had released the three Peshmerga fighters after having kept them in captivity in Mosul for a day.
Brigadier Hagurd Khidir, Commander of the Peshmerga’s Safeen battalion, told Kurdistan24 that the Hashd al-Shaabi arrested three Peshmerga fighters in the village of Tis Khrap near Bashiqa on Monday.
Khidir stated that the Peshmerga fighters were on a mission to inspect and explore Islamic State (IS) tunnels in the area when they accidentally stumbled into an area under Hashd al-Shaabi control, some 400-500 meters away from the Peshmerga frontline.
The Commander added that Hashd al-Shaabi forces refused to release the Peshmerga fighters immediately and took them to their command center in Mosul.
The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga was directly in contact with Hashd al-Shaabi commanders to secure the prompt release of the three Peshmerga soldiers.
Khidir said the Hashd al-Shaabi were supposed to release the fighters early Tuesday morning and had issued a warning should the Shia paramilitary group not release the detained Peshmerga by the noon.
Editing by G.H. Renaud