MESOP SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) : SHINGAL & THE PKK/PYD AS TEHRAN’S PROXY / STRATFOR INTEL REPORT
Iraq: Turkey, Iran Wage A Proxy Battle In Sinjar – STRATFOR INTEL – Situation Reports – March 9, 2017 | 16:34 GMT
The battle in Iraq’s Yazidi Kurdish-majority Sinjar (also known as Shingal) district appears to be heating up as Iran steps in to counter Turkish-backed peshmerga fighters, Kurdistan24 reported March 7. Turkey has elicited cooperation from Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani to deploy Turkish-backed Rojava Peshmerga forces to Sinjar to rout out Shingal Resistance Unit (YBS) forces affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Rojava Peshmerga and YBS have clashed for several days, but now it appears that Iranian-backed Shiite militias are willing to reinforce the YBS. Hezbollah Brigade publicly announced that it will strengthen cooperation with the YBS in the name of preserving Iraqi unity.
A statement by Karim Nuri, spokesman for the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, also said on March 9 that the group would oppose the expulsion of PKK forces from Sinjar. The risk of clashes between Turkish-backed Kurdish peshmerga and Iranian-backed Shiite militias is rapidly escalating as a broader struggle between the two regional powers intensifies across northern Syria and Iraq.