Peshmarga traninig Syriac Christians against ISIL
MUSUL - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq have started training Christian militia to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) around Mosul, Anadolu Agency reported on March 11.
The Peshmerga is currently training around 1,000 Syriac Christians, including special heavy weapons training, according to sources close to the Kurdish fighters. The 20 militia that are being trained at a camp in Mosul’s Tesukuf district also add to this figure.
All ammunition and other needs of the Syriacs is provided by the KRG’s Peshmerga Ministry, sources said.
The reports comes at a time when several groups are being training by Turkey, the U.S. and other nations to fight against ISIL, while Baghdad is preparing ahead of a large operation on Mosul in order to reclaim the key city from the jihadists.
Romeo Nissan Hakkari, the head of the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party, a Syriac political party in Iraq, told Anadolu Agency that the central Iraqi army is failing to protect the Syriacs adequately so they have demanded support from KRG head Massoud Barzani.
A “Mosul Plato Unit” has been founded under the Peshmerga Ministry, Hakkari said, adding that a number of Christian militias are currently fighting against ISIL around Telsukuf, 30 kilometers southeast of Mosul.
Some 200,000 Christians were displaced after ISIL captured Mosul, he also claimed.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Yeni Şafak has reported that Iran has started setting up anti-ISIL militias around Kirkuk, training Shiite Turkmens.