Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kurdish Peshmerga forces have agreed with Pro-government, Shia-led militias to avoid clash in Sinjar region, west of Nineveh, as reports say Iraqi forces took over the region.
Peshmerga command made a statement on Tuesday, saying Yazidi members of the force agreed with Yazidi troops within the Popular Mobilization Forces to avoid clash in Sinjar.
“The protection of the region (SInjar) and affiliated areas is the duty of Yazidi Peshmerga whose numbers reach 8000 fighters,” said a statement by Peshmerga, quoted by Rudaw network.
Iraqi government forces and allied paramilitary troops took over Sinjar earlier on Tuesday, a Kurdish politician reported.
Iraqi troops, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces, took over the center of Sinjar region, west of Nineveh, Abbas Sawraji, media official at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, told Alsumaria News. He said troops positioned at several major government facilities in the region.
“All of the Peshmerga troops have pulled out. There is no exit of refugees, and the situation is stable,” said Sawraji.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said Monday its forces, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces, had taken over Kirkuk’s province building, main oil fields and military bases as part of an incursion ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to regain government control over territories where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region.
Baghdad had declared intentions to reclaim control over regions disputed with Erbil in response to Kurdistan’s independence vote in September, which overwhelmingly backed independence from Iraq.
Sinjar region is the habitat of the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi religious minority which came to the international spotlight due to massacres and slavery they had endured under Islamic State militants’ rule.