ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Monday, 489 former fighters of the Sinjar (Shingal) Resistance Units (YBS) began military training after joining the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces.
Qassem Resho, a member of the Peshmerga Committee for the Shingal area, told Kurdistan24 the training at the Peshmerga’s Faw military base near the Mosul dam will last for two months.
“They will receive different military training in these two months and will start to receive their monthly salary at the beginning of this month,” he said.
Regarding their relocation after completing the training, Resho noted they would be fighting wherever they were needed based on the command of the Peshmerga Ministry.
YBS is one of the Kurdish military units created in 2014 by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in an aim to free Shingal and other Ezidi areas from the Islamic State (IS).
On March 3, 2017, clashes erupted between Peshmerga and YBS fighters in the Khanasor community located in the northwest of Shingal at the Kurdistan Region and Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) border.
The conflict resulted in some casualties for both sides.
Following the violence, many YBS fighters abandoned the group and joined Peshmerga forces, accusing YBS and PKK of encouraging intra-Kurdish fighting.
Both Peshmerga and YBS blame each other for sparking the divergence in the Shingal area.
Peshmerga has often been labeled one of the most efficient ground troops defeating IS in northern Iraq.
According to the Peshmerga Ministry, since 2014, over 1,500 Peshmerga have fallen while fighting the extremist group while about 10,000 more were wounded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Nihmat Maronisi)