Mohammed Khalil Jibburi, an Arab member of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, told BasNews, “Volunteer fighters from Arab tribes have created a force in order to clear insurgents from their land.”
Sheikh Muslih Hamdani of the Albuhamdan tribe spoke to BasNews. “The force will fight hand in hand with the Peshmerga and participate in operations to free areas in southwestern Kirkuk.”
“The force is waiting for the command of senior officers to start the operation to free Hawija and other areas,” added Hamdani.
Most of the residents in southern Kirkuk are ethnically Arab and have been living under IS for more than six months. The areas include Hawija, Abasi, Zab, Riyaz, Rashad and other villages near Hawija.
Turkmen in Kirkuk province recently asked the federal government to arm them.
The diverse province of Kirkuk is home to Kurds, Arab, Turkmen and Assyrians.