Four ISIS militants killed in clash with Peshmerga, Ezidi forces in Shingal: Commander

“Four of the [ISIS] gunmen were killed, and two of them blew themselves up.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga and a Yezidi (Ezidi) fighting unit on Wednesday clashed with Islamic State members in the disputed Sinjar (Shingal) district, killing four, while two others detonated their suicide vests, a Peshmerga commander said.

“A number of Da’esh [ISIS] gunmen in the Khana Shahwani area near the Shingal Cement Factory were attempting to infiltrate Golata village, and the Peshmerga and Ezidkhan forces intercepted them,” Qasim Shasho, Peshmerga Commander of the Shingal Front, told Kurdistan 24.

The Ezidkhan Protection Forces is a fighting unit that was formed by Ezidis, the ethnoreligious minority that primarily lived in the Shingal areas, which the so-called Islamic State overtook during their onslaught on Nineveh province in 2014. The terrorist group committed countless atrocities against the community.

Qasim Shasho added that Haider Shasho, the commander of the Ezidkhan Protection Forces, spearheaded the operation and, as a result, “four of the [ISIS] gunmen were killed and two of them blew themselves up.” It was not immediately clear if the latter two died.

A security source told Kurdistan 24 the Peshmerga and Ezidi forces had taken no casualties.

The Islamic State remains a menace throughout parts of Iraq that were previously under their control, especially in rural areas where security gaps give free rein to the group’s activities.

Simultaneous with the Shingal clash, another group of Islamic State gunmen attacked an Arab-majority village in Diyala province’s Khanaqin district, with Iraqi forces responding, a security source from the area told Kurdistan 24. Reports are yet to indicate the number of casualties from this encounter.

The village, Islah, is part of the disputed Gulala sub-district, which in the past two weeks has been the site of multiple incidents that are alleged to have involved the Islamic State. Eleven people have either been killed or injured as a result.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany