Garmian peo­ple angry at Shi­ite mili­tias

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Some Shi­ite mili­tias known as “Hashd Shaabi” have en­tered the Kur­dish ar­eas of Diala Prov­ince to help Pesh­marga forces re­take the ter­ri­to­ries con­trolled by Is­lamic State in the past few months.

Although the Kur­dish ad­min­is­tra­tion have wel­comed them and granted them free roam­ing in the re­gion, the lo­cal Kur­dish res­i­dents of Garmian, ar­gue that the Shi­ite mili­tias treat the Kurds as foes and that they have acted with dis­re­spect with the in­hab­i­tants of Kalar, Kifri and Khur­ma­too.

Ac­cord­ing to a Kur­dish of­fi­cial in Garmian, the Shi­ite groups do not re­spects the rules and hu­man val­ues and “do what­ever they want.”

Akram Salih, head of the 22nd Branch of the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP) in Garmian, told a lo­cal Kur­dish daily news­pa­per, that the Shi­ite forces are il­le­gal and un­or­ga­nized forces and do not follow any laws or reg­u­la­tions, and they don’t have suf­fi­cient knowl­edge about the area and the lo- cals.

“If they con­tinue like this, they will face prob­lems with the lo­cals,” Salih said. “They have come to fight IS and they think they can do what­ever they like.”

Last Satur­day a con­voy of 80 ve­hi­cles of the Shi­ite gun­men tried to pass through Kifri to­wards Qarat­apa, but the Kur­dish check­points and lo­cals stopped them. The Shi­ite mili­tias started shoot­ing over the skies of the town and the peo­ple re­sponded with stones. As a re­sult of the shoot­ing, one lo­cal traf­fic po­lice of­fi­cer was in­jured.

The KDP of­fi­cial says there are many sim­i­lar cases of is­sues be­tween the Shi­ites and lo­cal Kurds.

An­war Aziz, a Kur­dish res­i­dent of Kifri, said peo­ple hate them due to their “in­hu­mane ac­tions”.

“They should pro­tect the se­cu­rity of the towns, oth­er­wise they will face un­wanted re­ac­tions,” Aziz ar­gues. “They should keep away of the city cen­ters and do not give a chance to any­one to dis­turb the se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of the Garmian area.”

The Shi­ite mili­tia fight­ers and the Ira­nian Quds Forces par­tic­i­pated along with Kur­dish Pesh­marga Forces in the lib­er­a­tion of Jalawla and Saadiya dis­tricts from IS last Tues­day. Since then hun­dreds of Shi­ite Arab fight­ers have re­set­tled in the area and roam freely in Kur­dish towns.

Cur­rently there are 40,000 Shi­ite mili­tia fight­ers in Iraq or­ga­nized un­der Hashd Shaabi, and are funded by the Iraqi gov- ern­ment in the same way as the armed forces and other se­cu­rity forces of the gov­ern­ment.

How­ever, Sunni Arabs con­sider them as not dif­fer­ent from IS, and blame them for de­stroy­ing mosques and other sa­cred sites, es­pe­cially in Diala Prov­ince, where they have re­port­edly burned nu­mer­ous Sunni mosques and sa­cred sites.

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