(BasNews) Hashd al-Shaabi Shi’ite militia has begun recruiting Kurdish youths of Halabja city in the Kurdistan Region with support from a number of Kurdish officials, and hundreds of youths in the city, according to unofficial reports, have thus far been recruited in the Shi’ite Militia.
According to a recruit in Hashd al-Shaabi in Halabja as interviewed by Kurdistan24, the militia force is recruiting people in the city with a tempting monthly salary.
Unconfirmed reports say over 400 youths from Halabja have so far been registered in Hashd al-Shaabi.
Fazil Basharati, head of Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) branch in Halabja told BasNews Hashd al-Shaabi has established a unit in Halabja, recruiting people in the militia.
He revealed a retired general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is overseeing the recruitment for the militia forces.
People are continually joining Hashd al-Shaabi militia in the Kurdish areas under PUK’s influence, Basharati said, arguing that the aim of the militia force in the Kurdistan Region is to obliterate the achievements of the region and impede the independence of the Kurdistan Region.
He called on the Kurdistan Regional Government to warn the Kurdish factions whose members tend to join Hashd al-Shaabi.
Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is one of the largest militias in Iraq consisting of 66 militia groups. It was established in 2014 by a fatwa (jurisdiction) of the grand Shi’ite cleric in Iraq Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to fight the Islamic State (IS).
The militia has often been reported by Amnesty and Human Rights Watch for committing war crimes in different parts of Iraq. However in late 2016, the Iraqi parliament recognized the militia as a national armed force.