Duhola – The Ezidi combat unit Heza Parastina Ezidxane (HPE) has opened its first military training camp in the north of Shingal region. In the presence of fighters and commanders, HPE top commander Heydar Shesho stressed in his opening speech the necessity of an independent Ezidi defense force. The camp is located in Duhola town, a few kilometres north of the Shingal mountains.
Yesterday, 25 additional fighters joined the HPE which commands an approximate number of 3,500 fighters, including many Ezidi Peshmerga who have recently joined the HPE. The HPE was founded in 2014 in Shingal as a result of the genocide committed against the Ezidis by the terrorist militia Islamic State when the Peshmerga soldiers who had been deployed in the region suddenly fled, abandoning civilians to their fate.
Shesho further stated that it was the Ezidis´task to ensure the security of Shingal region, adding that with or without the support of the Kurdish regional or Iraqi central government, Ezidis would take care of the issue now. The camp is completely funded by Ezidis.
Meanwhile, the ruling KDP party of the incumbent Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has once again threatened the HPE leadership. Mahma Khalil, self-proclaimed mayor of Shingal, threatened to take action against “any illegal militia” in Shingal that would not operate under the Peshmerga ministry. Under the same pretext, KDP security forces detained the HPE commander Shesho in April 2015.