A new multi ethnic force is in training in Kirkuk 

August 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm

The new force in training in south of Kirkuk (Karwan Salehi, August 5)

Karwan Salehi

A new multiethnic force is being trained in Kirkuk under the umbrella of Popular Mobilisation Force (PMF) and the Iraqi government is poised to arm the force to be used in the future battles. The force known as Kirkuk 2nd Brigade – Iraq Free Men force has started the training on August 5, and new recruits from various ethnic groups are arriving at the base where this new force is being trained.

“This force has been established for a year by the famous Mufti (Shikh Mahdi Ahmad Sumaydaei) and has a presence in all the provinces and the council of ministers has given its backing,” said General Hamid Hussein the head of the force. “We are now waiting for the official administrative order so to receive arms, salaries and other requirement.”

Since Islamic State attacked Iraq in the summer of 2014, dozens of new forces have been established both by Baghdad and Erbil amongst which is the PMF which its numbers are growing fast. The number of the fighters in this new force in Kirkuk is to reach 2,000 which consists of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen youths.

“There is no job and i was told that this force would pay 700,000 dinars per month so that is why i am here,” said a Kurdish recruit who did not want to be identified. This new brigade has a number of battalions one of which is called Salahaddin Ayubi and it is consisted of 350 fighters all of whom are Kurds.

new recruits arriving at the base from various ethnic groups (Karwan Salehi, August 5)

The head of the Kurdish battalion Captain Edris Hamawandi is a Kurd who was a peshmerga of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from 1991 until recently. The commanders of the Kurdish force are calling on the PUK to meet their needs and the base where the new force is being trained in Daquq, 44km, south of Kirkuk was provided by Shikh Jaffar Sheikh Mustafa the head of PUK Force 70.

“We have good relations with the peshmerga and other security forces, our job is to defend Kirkuk and the areas in the province,” said General Hamid Hussein.

Captain Murad Qocha a volunteer of the second battalion which is consisted of Turkmen says he is happy to be serving in a force that is a small representation of Iraq where all ethnic and religious groups are working together.


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