They wear the Iraqi flag on one sleeve, a Kurdish flag on the other, and are trained and equipped by Turkey. But the Nineveh Guard is not just another of the many militias supporting the Iraqi army in its offensive.
CCTV’s Jack Barton reports.
Nineveh Guard has direct stake in battle against ISIL for MosulThey wear the Iraqi flag on one sleeve, a Kurdish flag on the other, and are trained and equipped by Turkey. But the Nineveh Guard is not just another of the many militias supporting the Iraqi army in its offensive. Every fighter in the Nineveh Guard ranks is from the Mosul area, and they are bent on getting their city back from ISIL.
Every fighter in the Nineveh Guard ranks is from the Mosul area, and they are bent on getting their city back from ISIL.
“This is the only forces, the organized force from Nineveh all the people in it are from Mosul City, and they are around three thousand people, all equipped and ready to fight to get their city back.” Coordinator of Nineveh Guard Abdullah al-Nujaifi said.
Abdulla al-Nujaifi is the son of Nineveh’s former governor, he’s shows CCTV the northern front line, which runs through a shopping mall.
“In this point we’re actually under the range of mortars of Daesh,” al-Nujaifi said. Daesh is the Arabic word for ISIL who are not too far away.
“It’s about two kilometers to the nearest position of Daesh and around less than three kilometers to the city itself,” he added.
A short distance away, local commanders discuss the northern offensive.
Inside they are also talking about cooperation, or the lack of it, with the Iraqi army the Kurdish Peshmerga and a variety of militias both Shiite and Sunni.
The Nineveh Guard is not without controversy, as it’s being trained and equipped by Turkey, much to the displeasure of Baghdad, which doesn’t want Ankara meddling and was never very keen on Mosul having it’s own paramilitary force.
A force some northerners say might have halted ISIL’s advance more than two years ago.
“I think it’s one of the reasons that Mosul fall down that there is no any guard for Mosul or any Mosul people participate in their security,” Former Nineveh Province Governor and Founder of Nineveh Guard Atheel al-Nujaifi said.
Nineveh’s former governor said it’s the main reason why he formed the guard.
“It’s the reasonable way to rebuild the security of Nineveh after we fight them that there is a guard from Nineveh who fight ISIS and who are ready to secure Nineveh after the liberation,” al-Nujaifi said.
Despite the links to Turkey, the Iraqi army is now working closely with the Nineveh Guard as it’s only a matter of time before both forces push into the north of Mosul.