Iraqi, Kurdistan officials stress the importance of militias leaving Sinjar
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Iraqi National Security Agency Director Abdul-Ghani al-Asadi on Tuesday stressed the importance of implementing the recent Sinjar (Shingal) Agreement, in particular, the removal of various militias from the disputed district.
Prime Minister Barzani met with Asadi in Erbil that day to discuss regional developments.
They “spoke about recent events in Iraq and relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government,” according to a statement from the KRG website, noting that “ongoing dialogue with the Federal Government on all matters affecting the stability and prosperity of the country remains a priority for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).”
Both recognized “the need to fully implement the Shingal Agreement to help stabilize the area,” and “emphasized the need for militias and other outlawed armed groups to withdraw from Iraqi territory to preserve the hard-won peace and stability of the country.”
Baghdad and Erbil announced that they had reached an agreement to restore and normalize the situation in the Shingal.
Al-Asadi had arrived in Erbil earlier Tuesday with the aim of strengthening security coordination between Baghdad and Erbil.
Baghdad claims that the agreement has entered into force and that armed groups have left the district, but the regional government says that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is still present and has brought additional forces from Syria.
The PKK has been fighting a decades-long conflict with Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Peshmerga Serbast Lazgin told Kurdistan 24 that the continued presence of PKK fighters within Sinja has exacerbated the security situation in the city, stressing, “The PKK is still there in Shingal.”
Lazgin pointed out that some groups coordinate with the PKK to the extent that they sometimes change their uniforms and wear the uniforms of Iraqi armed groups, adding that these groups receive salaries from the Iraqi government, especially those associated with the PMF still dotted across the borders of Shingal.
Editing by John J. Catherine