Hashd al-Shaabi retreats from Kirkuk city centre

Hashd al-Shaabi forces retreated from Kirkuk city centre and handed over security to the Iraqi army and federal police, locals report.

Hashd al-Shaabi forces inside Kirkuk have retreated from city centre at the instruction of Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and handed over security to the Iraqi army and federal police. The Shite militia is now positioned around Kirkuk.

Supported by the Iraqi army, Hashd al-Shaabi militia invaded Kirkuk and surrounding towns on October 16, after peshmerga forces abandoned the city.


A large number of residents who left Kirkuk after Hashd al-Shaabi invasion have returned to the city. However, most of the returning residents have reportedly left Kirkuk again because of security concerns.

In the meantime, residents of the mainly Kurdish Rehîmawa neighbourhood protested the patrolling Iraqi Federal Police last night. A young demonstrator took down the Iraqi flag on a police vehicle in protest at the invasion. Police forces left the area amid growing protests, opening fire into the air, to which people responded with stones.


On the other hand, a group of civilians staged a demonstration in Tuz Khurmatu district of Salahaddin province last night demanding the withdrawal of Hashd al-Shaabi from the region. Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Shaabi members opened fire on the crowd, which did not result in casualties.