Large Federal Police force deployed to Shingal

Shingal, Nineveh, 2019 – a security checkpoint – photo: Ibrahim Ezidi

Amar Aziz

A 2,000 strong Federal Police force has arrived in Shingal. But it is not clear whether their deployment is within the framework of the Shingal agreement or not.

The force has arrived in Shingal on the night of 19 November. Some of them were stationed inside Shingal district, and others at the Iraq-Syria border.

Haydar Shasho, commander of the Ezidkhan Protection Force, told KirkukNow: “The number of the Federal Police force consists of more than 2,000 members. The force is here for two purposes: first, to takeover the directorates and bases that are under YBŞ control; second, to protect the border between Iraq and Syria from any unwanted military movements.”

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Shingal, 11 October 2020 – a protest against the Erbil-Baghdad agreement on Shingal – photo: Ibrahim Ezidi

“The deployment of this force is a preparation for the implementation of the Shingal agreement. And that is in the benefit of the people of Shingal. We hope that YBŞ and other forces leave the region without any friction. We are grateful that they have helped the people of Shingal in time of need, and we will never forget them, but their task is finished, let them go and serve their own regions,” Haydar Shasho said.

YBŞ is a militia that was formed by PKK in 2015 to fend off ISIS attack and a role in retaking Shingal district.

The Shingal agreement between the Federal and the Kurdistan Regional governments stipulates that the Federal Police, Intelligence Agency and National Security Apparatus with cooperation with Kurdistan Regional Government Security Forces, will be put in charge of the security of the district. And that 2500 security personnel to be recruited from people of Shingal: 1000 from the current residents of Shingal, and 1500 from IDPs.

According to the content of the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil, a new mayor will be installed for the district of Shingal, and the administrative posts will be put under evaluation for potential replacements.

Khudéda Chuki, the mayor of Sinuné subdistrict, told KirkukNow: “Our region does not need that force at all, because the Shingal district is very stable. But it seems they want to foment trouble in the region. I am certain that with the arrival of that force the region will end up in conflict and the issues will get bigger and more complicated.”

I am certain that with the arrival of that force the region will end up in conflict and the issues will get bigger and more complicated

On 14 October, Dizhwar Faqir, commander of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ), said during a military ceremony: “The Shingal agreement was made without our knowledge and that of the people of Shingal. Let the whole world know, we, as the commander Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ), are against the agreement, and it is unacceptable. We will not accept from anyone to meddle in the affairs of Shingal without listening to the opinions of its people.”

Dizhwar Faqir, commander of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ) – photo: Ibrahim Ezidi

It is not clear whether the Federal Police force has taken over any of the bases of the YBŞ.

The Federal Government has not yet commented on the deployment of the force, and the YBŞ has also been silent.

“I don’t believe that the deployment of that force is within the framework of the agreement, because according to the agreement the Federal Police must be stationed inside the city and the army on the border. Right now, only the Federal Police has come and most of them have gone to the border, and the army has not come.” Chuki said.

On 15 November, a delegation from Shingal consisting of religious, political and tribal figures, along with security officials, intellectuals and families of ISIS victims met with Prime Minister al-Kadhimi for three hours. Members of the delegation told KirkukNow that al-Kadhimi has “promised” to review two section of the agreement: the section regarding removing all forces currently present in the district; the instalment of a new administration.

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