5 killed, 10 injured in Turkish bombing of Shingal hospital

Ninewa- August 17, 2021- Sukayniyah village hospital in Shingal bombed by Turkey on Tuesday. Ammar Aziz

By Ammar Aziz

At least five people were killed and ten others injured by Turkey bombardment of a hospital in Shingal for on Tuesday August 17, locals said.

The bombing at 1 pm targeted a hospital for a group affiliated to Kurdistan Wrokers Party PKK in the village of Sukayniyah in the district of Shingal, home to the Ezidi community.

“Turkish jets conducted the air strike. Initial reports say five people were killed and ten others injured. The hospital is specially dedicated for fighters of YBSh yet it receives civilians as well,” said Naqtiq Alo Ahmed, media officer of Shingal police

The hospital used to be a primary school later turned into a small hospital. “The security services are investigating the incident and we can not reveal any further information,” Ahmed added.

On Monday, two members of YBSh, Shingal Resistance Units, a group affiliated to Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, were killed and three were injured in an air strike by Turkish bomb-laden drones targeted a vehicle in Shingal Bazaar while the Iraqi PM was in the province of Ninewa and scheduled a visit to Shingal in the afternoon afternoon, local security official said.

“The Turkish jets three times bombed the hospital, few hundred meters away from our houses as it is in the middle of our village where 30 families live,” said Alys Qasim.

“I have counted six bodies myself and minimum ten were wounded.”

“I have counted six bodies myself and minimum ten were wounded.”

The photos sent to KirkukNow show the hospital is flattened and no accurate figures how many people were in the hospital at the time of the bombing.

It is not clear if the three members of YBSh injured on Monday were receiving medical treatment in the bombed hospital.

“Most of those martyred and injured were civilians visited the hospital to receive treatment. There were kids as well. People by shovels are removing the debris to find the bodies and rescue the injured,” Qasim added.

YBSh fighters are mainly Ezidis and close to the PKK, fighting Turkey and holding territories. When Shingal fell under control of Islamic State ISIS in August 2014, Iraqi troops backed by Kurdish Peshmerga (fighters) and pro- PKK fighters' ousted ISIS in October 2015 and deployed in several areas in the region.

Hasso Ibrahim, deputy of head for Shingal autonomous administrative council, affiliated to YBSh, and administering Shingal district, said on Tuesday “the Iraqi government is held accountable for today and yesterday bombing carried out while PM Kadhimi was there. His trip was a fatal blow for us.”

Shingal Autonomous administrative Council is a local civil administration founded few years ago, close to PKK forces, Ezidkhan Asayish, YBSh and YPZh based in Shingal Mountain. Ezidkhan Asayish (security) has about 1,000 fighters and is part of YBSh in charge of the security in the area.

“We were invited to attend a meeting with the PM so how can a neighbor bomb us while the PM is there,” Ibrahim angrily said.

“Bombing a hospital made it worse. It is a deep shame and lack of sentiment for the Iraqi government."

In the Ezidi-dominant region of Shingal, only three thousand square kilometers, Baghdad federal and Erbil regional governments compete to establish their rule: three local administrations want to administer the district, and eight different armed forces are deployed.

The militant groups are Iran-backed Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, YBSh and Ezidkhan Asayish which are pro-PKK, federal and local Police, Iraqi army and the Kurdistan Regional Government's KRG Peshmerga.

“Such airstrikes won’t stop us from deploying in Shingal and defending its people. We won’t leave Shingal for any forces or parties,” Ibrahim said.

“Such airstrikes won’t stop us from deploying in Shingal and defending its people. We won’t leave Shingal for any forces or parties,” Ibrahim said.

In October 2020, the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG signed the Shingal Agreement aimed to reorganize the security and administrative dossiers in the district, under which local police, national security and intelligence run the security of the town, while the Iraqi army forces would be deployed in the suburbs.

The agreement was hailed by Baghdad, Erbil and Ankara as it leaves no excuse for any militia including the PKK to stay in town.

Turkey-PKK conflict is a concern for Ezidis of Shingal as the Turkish army regularly conducts cross-border operations and air raids on PKK bases in northern Iraq. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed end of January to attack Shingal at any time in pursuit of PKK-affiliated groups based in the region.

Shingal, located 120 west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, on the border of Iraq-Syria, is home to the Ezidi religious community considered by the so-called Islamic State ISIS infidels.

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