ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The leader of the Ezidi Democratic Party says Iraqi forces and the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi are unable to protect Ezidi Kurds, and also called for Shingal to be turned into a new province.
Haider Shasho, Head of the Ezidi Democratic Party, said Ezidis no longer trust that Iraqi security forces can protect them from danger.
“We do not believe the Iraqi security forces [can protect the Ezidis] in the future,” Shasho stated in an interview with Kurdistan 24 on Saturday.
Shasho, who is also commander of the Ezidikhan Protection Forces, called on all the relevant authorities to form local forces in the areas where the components live so they can protect themselves from future threats.
Haydar Shesho says Iraq cannot stop Iranian and Turkish attacks. Threat of Turkey striking Shingal again results into Ezidi being afraid of returning to Shingal @OfficialAuk #BeyondISIS #twitterkurds pic.twitter.com/GIjkBm1r9w— Wladimir (@vvanwilgenburg) October 13, 2018
“Turning Shingal into a new province is one of our demands for the Ezidis in the area,” he said, stating that they also favor establishing the Nineveh Plains as a new province in Iraq as well.
The people of the area should not be deprived of their rights, he added.
The Ezidi leader vowed to work vigorously on the case and convey the demands of the people to the international community and put pressure on the Iraqi government to approve Shingal and Nineveh as new provinces.
Speaking at a conference organized by the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok, Shasho said Iraq could not protect its borders. He noted that Turkey makes daily threats to target Shingal which spreads fear among the Ezidis and, therefore, hinders the return of the minority group to their areas of origin.
Ezidis were subjected to atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for many years after IS overran Shingal in mid-2014, forcing hundreds of thousands of the ethnoreligious minority to flee their homes.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany