Casualties reported in clashes between Rojava peshmerga and Yazidi force

Female fighters of the Shingal Women's Units

Update 08:45 (CET): Clashes have halted. According to reports the sides have begun negotiating via telephone.

Update 10:00 (CET): A spiritual leader of the Yazidi community, Mir Tahsin Beg, has called on both sides to “stop the war.”

Update: Journalist Nujiyan Erhan has been injured in clashes. Erhan and her cameraman were targeted in an assassination attempt by peshmerga forces. The journalist is seriously injured while her cameraman, who’s name couldn’t be confirmed was lightly wounded.

Update: Civilians have taken up arms to fight peshmerga forces, according to ANF News Agency and a local source who spoke to Kom News.

Update: According to the ANF a group of 70 peshmerga fighters who refused to engage in armed combat have been detained in a separate area by the KRG Intelligence organisation Parastin.

Clashes between Rojava peshmergas and Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in the Khanesor neighbourhood of Shingal, west of Mosul in Iraq are continuing with casualties reported.

The Rojava peshmerga affiliated to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have claimed the Yazidi Units close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) opened fire as they were passing into the neighbourhood.

However officials of the Shingal Resistance Units called the out-break of clashes a “provocation” by the ‘Roj-pesh’ as they are known and accused the force of trying to push them out of the region.

An independent journalist in the area has said peshmerga forces initiated the attack. Matthew Barber also reported that peshmergas were shelling the area with rockets. An eye-witness, Barber tweeted, had said there were masked individuals within the peshmerga forces, which has sparked rumours of Turkish intelligence leading the operation.

The KDP, which holds leading positions in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has repeatedly called for the PKK and affiliated groups to leave the area and recently threatened an attack if this didn’t happen.

A commander in the Shingal Women’s Units (YJS), a part of the YBS, Rosyar Vejin told ANF News Agency that the development was a result of KRG President Massoud Barzani’s recent visit to Ankara. Turkey has also demanded that the PKK, who entered the area in 2014 to defend the Yazidi minority against the Islamic State leave the area.

“We tried to prevent clashes from occurring till the last moment. But they attacked our control points. They are trying to portray some who are traitors as ‘Rojava peshmerga’,” Vejin said.c

Speaking to Rudaw English the spokesperson of the ‘Roj-pesh’ said on Thursday the deployment to the area was part of a routine change over.

“We have had a unit stationed there, and today a new regiment has gone there, too,” Sharvan Derki said, adding that the first deployment was about two years ago. “But the media has now made the issue bigger than it is. The media says that a force has been deployed to the border so that they will enter Rojava, but it is baseless. We have just changed our locations.”

According to latest reports four peshmergas have been taken prisoner by the Yazidi Units while one YBS fighter has been killed and three injured in clashes.

Civilians have reportedly begun fleeing to the Shingal mountain.