In October bilateral talks were held about the Sinjar region between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The federal government has agreed on handing over the the Sinjar region and part of the Nineveh plains over to the Kurdistan Regional Government. Rather than being talks between a central authority and one of its subordinate regional authorities , the agreement had the character of a sovereign nation ceding territory to a third sovereign nation. The move was made without participation nor approval from the local inhabitants; the Yezidi minority.
In 2014 the Peshmerga, the KRG security forces were tasked with protecting Sinjar . The region fell to the Islamic state gangs in august 2014 when the Peshmerga deserted their positions and left the region in the middle of the night without giving prior warning its inhabitants. The consequences were horrendous; Deash stormed the defenseless Sinjar, thousands of Yezidis were martyred and thousands of women were kidnapped and sold as slaves. This episode has scarred the Yezidi population forever. Until this day the fate of many women is unknown.
In 2015 the Hashd al Shabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces) and the Iraqi army liberated the lands occupied by ISIS. The parts secured by the Peshmerga were handed over to the federal government.
Since liberation, the land has been protected by the PMU, the Iraqi army and local Yezidi units under command of the PMU. This new agreement would expel the PMU from the area and hand back security to the Peshmerga. With the Kurdish betrayal of 2014 still fresh in mind, the handing over of the lands to the KRG has sparked public outcry among the Yezidi population.
Many analysts warn that this move will precipitate the handing over of more regions to the KRG. In the backrooms there is mention of a pending agreement on Kirkuk, strategically one of the most important and ethnically diverse regions in Iraq.
In the next part we will discuss the geopolitical consequences of this move.