‘PKK-armed wing in Shingal prevents reconstruction of city’
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has created several security checkpoints inside Sinjar (Shingal), preventing international organizations to enter and reconstruct the city, said the head of Shingal Council on Sunday.
The Kurdish Yezidi (Ezidi) city of Shingal was controlled in August 2014 by Islamic State (IS) insurgents.
Kurdish Peshmerga liberated the city on Nov. 14, 2015, with the cooperation of international coalition air strikes.
As the Mayor of the city Mahma Khalil stated before, 90 percent of the city has been destroyed due to coalition jet airstrikes targeting IS locations.
Seven months after the liberation of the city, very few changes and developments have taken place in the area.
The city has become a place for political rivalries between the Kurdish parties. The administration of Shingal accuses Shingal Resistance Units (YBS), the armed wing of the PKK fighters, for controlling parts of the city and preventing international organizations to rebuild the city.
A YBS security checkpoint in Shingal. June 18, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
“The PKK-armed wing checkpoints in Shingal prevent the international organizations to enter the area and reconstruct the city,” the head of Shingal Council, Wayis Nayif Badal, told Kurdistan24 on Sunday.
Members of a humanitarian organization in Shingal. June 18, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24
“We respect the national sacrifices that the group [YBS] has made in the fight against Da’esh in Shingal,” Badal continued, using the Arabic pejorative for IS.
“But, this should not mean that they have to occupy the city and make it another personal administration Canton,” he added.
The Head of Shingal Council Wayis Nayif Badal in Shingal during an interview with Kurdistan24. June 18, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
He mentioned that the PKK should stop creating political rivalries “at the expense of the pains and injuries of Shingal people.”
The military commander of YBS Haval Mazloum stated that they are ready to hand over the buildings in Shingal to the city’s administration, but will not leave the area.
“It is not true that we prevent people or organizations from entering some parts of Shingal,” he stated.
“Now, there are dozens of schools under our control that we are ready to hand over to the people so that children will start going to school,” Mazloum explained.
The military commander of YBS Haval Mazloum speaks with Kurdistan24. June 18, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
Following the occupation of Shingal by IS, PKK created a unit called the YBS to fight the extremists.
According to Mayor Khalil, following Shingal’s liberation, YBS have caused problems for the administration of the city by imposing themselves on Shingal.
He added that the group had refused to hand over the area to the city’s administration.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Masoud Mohamad contributed to this report)