YBŞ fighters in Shingal
YBŞ fighters in Shingal

On Friday morning, clashes erupted in the northern Iraqi Shingal region between PKK-backed Ezidi fighters of the YBŞ and Peshmerga forces close to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Several people were wounded and killed on both sides.

The clashes come after the KDP of the incumbent Kurdish President Barzani decided yesterday to deploy 500 members of the so-called Rojava Peshmerga, a militia consisting of Syrian-Kurdish refugees, to Khanasor, which has been under the control of YBŞ forces. The Peshmerga were supposed to enter Khanasor, which, however, was prevented by the YBŞ. The tone has been sharpened since yesterday, which ultimately resulted in today’s clashes. The tensions continue to escalate as both sides are preparing themselves for further clashes, our correspondent has learned.

Ezidi Peshmerga fighters have so far refused to take action against the YBŞ, which is why the KDP deployed its affiliated Rojava Peshmerga to the region who had already been in conflict with Ezidis and had earlier killed a young man from Shingal.

Turkey, which provides support to the Rojava Peshmerga, has recently been pressuring the KRG to take action against the common enemy in Shingal – the PKK. The attacks on the YBŞ in Khanasor come after talks were held between Erbil and Ankara.