MESOP : THE IRANIAN THREAT – Iran Deploys Military Advisors to Tuz Khurmatu: Official

The deployment is to support Hashd al-Shaabi against Kurds, a local security official says

Sardar Sattar – BasNews 3 July 2016 – TUZ KURMATU — The Islamic Republic of Iran has deployed several military advisors to Tuz Khurmatu district in northeast Salahaddin province to stand against the influence of Kurds in the disputed Kurdish town, says a local official. Tuz Khurmatu for the last couple of months has been the setting of deadly armed conflicts between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Shi’ite militia Hashd al-Shaabi, with both of the sides attempting to take the control of the city.

Farouq Ahmed, Head of the security forces in Tuz Khurmatu confirmed to BasNews that several dozens of Iranian forces, believed to be military advisors and intelligence officers, are now in Tuz Khurmatu with the intention to monitor Kurds in the city. “We have reported to the higher authorities about the presence of the Iranian military advisors who are supervising Hashd al-Shaabi militias,” Ahmed said, noting that Iran is attempting to increase the influence of the Shi’ite militias in the area.

Clashes between Kurds and the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Tuz Khurmatu ended after the sides reached an agreement by which both agreed to withdraw from central Tuz Khurmatu and let the local police forces take the responsibility to protect the city. However, the Shi’ite militias since then regularly breached the agreement by kidnapping, torturing and killing Kurdish and Sunni Turkmen residents.