- Peshmerga forces give up Sinjar after Iraqi forces secured full control over Kirkuk
- Sinjar is inhabited by Yazidi Kurds, a non-Muslim Kurdish minority
- ISIS was driven out of Sinjar two years ago
- Peshmerga forces also began a withdrawal in adjacent Makhmur district
The Kurdish town of Sinjar was given up by Peshmerga forces to a pro-Iraqi paramilitary group and the Iraqi army, Baghdad's army said Tuesday.
Sinjar is comprised of Yazidi Kurds, a non-Muslim Kurdish speaking minority. Following a 2014 massacre in Sinjar by ISIS fighters, many Yazidis volunteered to fight ISIS militants by joining either Kurdish forces or those backed by the Iraqi government.
ISIS was driven out of Sinjar two years ago.
"The Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces entered the town of Sinjar after the Peshmerga withdrew without a fight," the PMF, also known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, an umbrella group of pro-Iraqi militias, said in a statement.
The confrontation-free handover came Tuesday after Yazidis of the Peshmerga agreed with Yazidis in the pro-government Popular Mobilization Force to avoid a clash, officials said.
- Iraqi Forces Take 'Full Control' of Kirkuk's City Center
- US-Trained Troops Clash in Kirkuk as Iraqi Forces Advance
The Iraqi army has turned its attention to driving back the Kurdish military forces after the Kurdistan region voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 25 in a referendum for independence. The two sides are former allies against ISIS.
The Iraqi army, backed by the PMF, occupied government buildings and nearby oil fields on Monday in the larger city of Kirkuk on Monday after the Peshmerga pulled out.
Sinjar and Kirkuk are a part of a historically Kurdish part of Iraq which the Kurds seek to incorporate into their autonomous region.
Peshmerga forces also began a withdrawal in adjacent Makhmur district.
"Kurdish forces are moving their heavy equipment toward Erbil [Kurdistan's capital]," a Kurdish officer, Capt. Taher Saadullah al-Duski told said. The withdrawal came prior to the arrival of Iraqi or pro-Iraqi forces.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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