More Peshmerga fighters defect to Iraqi ranks amid massive border offensive
On Sunday, another batch of Kurdish troops left the Peshmerga in order to join the ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) instead. Their defection was approved by PMU chief Haider Al-Ameri himself.
The Peshmerga unit in mentioned is composed of Ezidi fighters from the Sinjar region and calls itself “Mum Qasim Shafan”. Some of the Kurdish volunteers appeared to be very young although their exact age remains unbeknownst to Al-Masdar News.
Less than two weeks ago, the exact same thing happened with another Kurdish unit in western Nineveh, suggesting defections from the Peshmerga to be a common theme after the Kurdish leadership in northern Iraq decided to largely stop clashing with ISIS in November last year.
According to an Iraqi source close to Al-Masdar News, a large portion of the regional Ezidi population is unhappy with the Peshmerga leadership and its close ties to Turkey, prompting widespread demonstrations in the Sinjar region in recent months.
Earlier today, the PMU officially reached the border with Syria in the Nineveh governorate amid a massive desert blitz offensive which secured some 30 kilometers of territory in barely 24 hours.