Peshmerga would stay out in case of Turkey fight against PMF in Shingal: commander
Commander of the Peshmerga forces in Shingal Qassim Shasho said on Tuesday, February 23, that the Kurdistan Region’s military will stay out of any potential conflict between Turkey and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias if there is fighting in the district.

Shasho, who recently rejoined a Peshmerga unit affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), told Voice of America that the Peshmerga would however defend itself if it comes under attack.
“It is known that [the PMF] is an Iranian force. If Turkey attacks Sinjar, it will be an Iran-Turkey war and we will be victimized,” he told VOA. “We will not fight and will only defend ourselves. We will not fight Turkey or Iran.”
“People are nervous in Shingal and afraid of being killed or displaced again,” he added.
Shingal is the site of the 2014 Ezidi genocide, where Islamic State (ISIS) militants attacked the district, killing and abducting thousands.
Turkish officials have warned that they may attack the district because of the presence of locally-organized groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In the interview, Shasho claimed that the PKK had not only stayed in Shingal, but had increased the number of its fighters there.
“Turkey would attack because of the PKK, not civilians and the Iraqi government. The PKK and the [PMF] have become a negative influence for Shing,” he argued.
Located in northwestern Nineveh governorate, Shingal is part of the disputed areas, which are claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government reached an agreement in October about the future governance of the district, including the return of displaced people and the removal of all armed groups not affiliated with the Iraqi government.
Technically part of the Iraqi Security Forces, local reports suggest that the PMF has increased its presence in Sinjar in recent weeks in response to Turkish saber-rattling.
“If the agreement had been implemented, Shing would have been stabilized and the Peshmerga and the Iraqi government would have returned to Shingal and the [PMF and PKK] would have gone,” he said.
“The PKK and the PMF have gathered large numbers of forces in Sinjar on the one hand and Turkey is threatening to attack the district on the other. I do not know what is going to happen.”
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