Iraq’s Kurdish party concerned about Shia militias

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The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq has said on Sunday it would not let al-Hashdi al-Shabi, a Shia militia group, settle in the northern Kirkuk province.

“[Al-Hashdi al-Shabi militias] were allowed to settle in Tuz Khurmatu town [in Saladin province] and Dakuk town [south of Kirkuk] but we as KDP did not allow them to advance to Leylan town [near Kirkuk],” Ferhat Kirkuki, the KDP’s provincial head in Kirkuk, said in a written statement published on the party’s official website.

Kirkuki claimed that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party let the militias settle in province.

For now, the presence of the militias is not obvious in Kirkuk’s center because they live in Shia neighborhoods, he added.

“Al-Hashdi al-Shabi wants to increase its numbers and activities in the region. We blocked this in Leylan town. After that, we will not allow them to enter the town and Kirkuk’s center,” Kirkuki added.

Iraq has been dogged by rampant insecurity since 2014, when Daesh overran Mosul and declared a self-styled “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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