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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BAGHDAD4365 2006-11-27 09:55:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

SHABAK IN IRAQ: A TARGETED ETHNIC MINORITY?

Tags:   PHUM KDEM PGOV IZ 
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VZCZCXRO8886
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4365 3310955
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 270955Z NOV 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8206
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC//NSC//
					C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 004365 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/26/2016
TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV IZ
SUBJECT: SHABAK IN IRAQ: A TARGETED ETHNIC MINORITY?

REF: 06 BAGHDAD 03283

Classified By: ACTING POLCOUNS ROBERT GILCHRIST FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and
(d)



1. (C) In a meeting November 21, Kurdish Alliance (KAL) and
Shabak Council of Representative member Ahmed Yusif al-Shabak
told Emboffs that since the February 22 Samarra bombings,
there have been approximately 130 Shabak Shia who have been
killed by Sunni-affiliated terrorist groups for sectarian
reasons. The Shabak are considered by many to be a distinct
ethnic-linguistic minority, primarily residing northeast of
Mosul in the province of Ninawa. Al-Shabak, who is Sunni,
said that these targeted assassinations were causing the
displacement of hundreds of Shabak Shia families. He
indicated that his village of Fadeliyiah (primarily Shabak
Sunni residents) had intended to provide housing to displaced
Shabak Shia from the Wartakerab village but decided not to do
so after receiving threatening phone calls from terrorist
groups warning them against such action.



2. (C) Though Ahmed al-Shabak referred to his community as
the &Shabak8 community and noted that Shabak spoke their
own distinct language, he was adamant that Shabaks were Kurds
and that those areas occupied by both Sunni and Shia Shabak
(northeast Ninawa) belonged to the KRG. He estimated that
there were between 200,000-500,000 Shabaks in Iraq, primarily
Ninawa, including 70 Shabak villages northeast of Mosul.
(Note: though these estimates probably represent a high
range, they track with other information we have received).



3. (C) Al-Shabak's statements about Shabak identity are in
direct conflict with Shia Coalition and Shabak COR member
Hunain Qaddo. A Shia Shabak and President of the Iraqi
Minorities Council (IMC), Hunain Qaddo consistently
distinguishes between Kurds and Shabak, and often complains
about abusive practices of the Kurdish authorities against
Shabaks. For example, he has alleged that Kurdish security
authorities often venture into Ninawa Shabak areas to detain
without arrest warrants, as well as harass Shabaks at
checkpoints. Both Qaddo and Al-Shabak agree however that
most Shabak villages suffer from basic lack of services as
well as lack of schools and economic opportunity.



4. (C) COMMENT: This is another example of the ethnic
politics in northern Iraq. Kurdish political parties, such
as the KDP, are often accused of attempting to co-opt ethnic
minorities into declaring themselves Kurds. Post has
received such allegations from Yezidi, Christian, and
Turcoman communities. Those who resist such a designation
complain of being harassed by Kurdish authorities. With only
two ethnic Shabak Council of Representatives members, it is
not clear where the larger community's self-identity lies.
It is possible that association with Kurdish identity is
influenced by whether a Shabak is Sunni--similar to the
majority population of Kurdistan. END COMMENT



5. (SBU) Bio Note: Al-Shabak told Emboffs he spent 25 years
&abroad8 moving through various mountain locations in Iran
and in Turkey. He said that for a large part of those 25
years, he was with the peshmerga, eventually attaining the
rank of Brigadier General. He returned to Iraq in 2003. He
speaks Farsi, Sorani Kurdish, Shabak, and limited English. He
has a degree in law. A member of the Governorates Committee,
he boasted that he was the one responsible for passing
through the regions law, and was emphatic throughout the
conversation that the country needed to be divided to promote
peace.
KHALILZAD