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Yazidi Militia to Leave Peshmerga, Shiite Alliance

Yazidi militia commander dissociates his group from fighting alongside peshmerga and Shiites
Yazidi Militia to Leave Peshmerga, Shiite Alliance

The commander of an Iraqi Yazidi militia, Haider Shasho, has ordered the separation of his militia from fighting alongside Iraqi Kurdish and Shiite militias in a statement hours after his release by the autonomous government of Northern Iraq. Shasho previously called on his followers in the Sinjar Mountains to cooperate with peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan to fight ISIS at the Iraqi-Syrian border areas.

Shasho's arrest by Kurdish security forces earlier in April incited a political media battle between the two main Kurdish parties in the territory – Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

The Kurdistan spokesman had recently announced Shasho was attempting to form an illegal military force independent of the peshmerga ministry in the Sinjar area, and was arrested with his supporters.

Barazani explained the peshmerga could not accept the presence of any military forces outside the control of ministry, claiming Shasho received external support and funding to conspire and implement a plan in Sinjar.

Sources reported that Haidar Shasho and his father, Kassem, used their militia to commit massacres against Arab villages, looting and burning houses and abducting women and children following ISIS' withdrawal.

Sources claimed Shasho is a leader in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and his militia is supported by Iran and Iraq’s central government. The militia was formed in mid-2014, comprising of fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who entered Iraq from Syria, and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from Hassakeh.

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