ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An Ezidi Peshmerga commander in the Kurdistan Region stated on Friday that the number of fighters deserting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated armed groups in Shingal is on the rise.
Qasim Shasho, the Commander of Ezidi Peshmerga forces in Shingal revealed that to date, 800 fighters left the ranks of the PKK and its armed wings in Shingal and joined the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region.
According to the Commander, the number increased following the Turkish airstrikes on PKK bases on Mount Shingal on April 25.
“The morale of PKK fighters has plummeted; their fighters join our forces on a daily basis,” Shasho said in an interview with Anadolu Agency. “Not all of them are Ezidis. Many are from the Kurdistan regions of Turkey and Syria.”
The Commander also mentioned the PKK and its armed wings decreased their number of bases on Shingal Mountain following the Turkish airstrikes.
“Almost every fighter that has left the PKK criticizes the group describing their policies as wrong, and some even claim the PKK forcefully recruited them,” the Ezidi Commander added.
He explained that out of 800 PKK fighters who joined Peshmerga, 500 of them had started military training with the Peshmerga Ministry near Mosul Dam.
Shasho expects more PKK fighters to abandon the group in the coming weeks. “Now, only 10 percent of Ezidi fighters remain in the ranks of the PKK and its armed groups in Shingal,” the commander estimated.
Kurdistan24 contacted Mazlum Shingali, the Commander of Shingal Resistance Units (YBS), an affiliate armed group of PKK in Shingal, but received no response from him regarding Commander Shasho’s comments.
Editing by G. H. Renaud