As noted previously, there are a number of Hashd formations operating in Iraq's northern province of Ninawa. These formations are often called 'tribal Hashd' and have regiment numbers but are on the registers of the Hashd Sha'abi commission. One of these groups is Regiment 41, also called 'Quwat al-Karar' ('Force of Determination'). It is led by Muhammad Ahmad Abdullah al-Waka' (Abu al-Karar). Below is an account of the regiment and its history provided by someone who fought within Regiment 41.
'Regiment 41 (Quwat al-Karar). All of its personnel are Jubur [tribesmen] and from the people of the village [our village] in particular. It was established in Makhmour in May 2016, led by the legal Brigadier General of Special Forces: Muhammad Ahmad al-Waka'. We advance towards al-Qayyara base with the commandoes of the 15th division and the Counter-Terrorism Service. We received with them the periphery of the base as Da'esh was in proximity to us: the sub-district of al-Qayyara and the village of Wazhilila from the north of the base and from the south of the base villages mostly affiliated with the al-Hadidin tribe. We were exposed once to an attack but the attack was repelled and praise be to God without any losses.
Then we advanced towards the village of al-Jad'a and the village of al-Ragba and the village of al-Jawa'inah, and they were liberated. And we held the lines of repulsion of al-Jad'a as well. Then we advanced towards al-Qayyara and it was liberated as well and we remained on ribat on the line of resistance al-Qayyara, with the Counter-Terrorism Service, then the 71st infantry brigade, led by the hero Colonel Sabhan (may God have mercy on him), and in particular the second regiment of Colonel Sarmad, and with the heroes of the first squadron and the hero Captain Hassan from the people of al-Nasiriya.
Note most of those on ribat on the resistance line were the people of the village of al-Hawd Tahtani and in front of us was the village of al-Hawd Fawqani, which was our village and our people there, and note Regiment 41- Quwat al-Karar- all of those affiliated are of the people of the village.
Also the village of al-Makuk was in the hand of Da'esh that was beyond the river towards the east. We were exposed to attack more than three times at the hands of the Dawa'esh, and praise be to God we resisted them and we killed many of them and seized their weapons and massacred their rotten corpses in al-Qayyara. And we gave three martyrs from the heroes of the Iraqi army. Note that none of the Hashd groups fought with us: only the Hashd of the Martyrs of al-Qayyara of al-Mar'id in the last exposure to attack. Then they advanced with us to our village as well in honour of us and our sacrifice on the resistance line and to return the favour. And thanks be to them and to the brother Sheikh Muhammad al-Mar'id and Sheikh Mansur al-Mar'id for what they offered us from food and other needs.
Then on the night of 16 October 2016, we assaulted the village of al-Hawd with the heroes of the ninth division and the federal police led by the Brigadier General Fakhir the hero and the 71st infantry brigade. And at 6 a.m. on 17 October we assaulted the village of al-Hawd from the southwest axis of the village and at 2 p.m., the village rose up against the Dawa'esh from the inside and many of the Dawa'esh were killed. And we gave martyrs, more than 20 martyrs from the uprising alone. Then we entered the village with the onset of darkness as the battle was very fierce. We gave a martyr from our regiment and two were wounded as well during the battles. Then after a number of days passed, three fighters from our regiment of heroes were martyred because of an IED. And after a number of days of a break for the regiment and securing protection of the village and reorganising the village and after purchasing equipment and arms, we advanced towards the al-Hamam sub-district and we held a resistance line as well.
Then we advanced towards Mosul and we held a resistance line of al-Jousaq with the heroes of the fifth division [federal police] and we were spread alongside the river. And every day around twenty of the Dawa'esh were killed. Then we advanced towards the old area of the right side and the battles were fierce and we held the area from the republican hospital and going down to the old bridge. And we gave two martyrs: one of the martyrs was kidnapped during the inspection for the Dawa'esh between the alleys of the old area. We got out the body of the martyr Wa'el on the following day with the heroes of the fifth division- federal police- the first regiment and the heroes of the engineering apparatus led by the hero Major Ali, who was also martyred during the getting out of the martyr. And the battle was fierce and three of the federal police were wounded along with a fighter from our heroes of Regiment 41 Quwat al-Karar. We remained until the old area was secured and cleared of Da'esh. Then we moved to the village of al-Hawd Fawqani. And there were opened the points of the railway line separating between al-Qayyara and al-Hawd all the way up to the village of al-Hawd to the Zakah al-Zawiya to the area of Shakhir neighbouring the Maghawir al-Jubur regiment.
And this is a detailed explanation for what we have suffered from lack of our being given weapons and equipment. Only the hero Sheikh the Colonel Sabhan was the one giving us equipment. And he was by God a hero fighting with all fierceness with us, may God have mercy on him. All this and I received all the resistance lines and points from the base up to the old area with my hero brothers, and praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds. And mercy and eternity be to our hero martyrs and perdition and shame to Da'esh and whoso is loyal to them. And now I am within the Interior Ministry protection of the personalities of Ninawa within the return. Yahya Anhir Abu Shawarib. My regards to you.'
1. The total number of martyrs for the regiment is six. The number of wounded is three.
2. The current area of responsibility of the regiment is not only the home village [al-Hawd Fawqani], but also the railway intersection separating between al-Qayyara ascending towards al-Hawd to Zakah al-Zawiya. There are points of ribat and a joint checkpoint with the army in the village of al-Hawd. Also the regiment holds points in the village of al-Asmaya that is southwest of al-Hawd and the Angolan company is near it.
3. On the issue of salaries, the following is noted:
'Yes, [there are salaries], but there is a list called 'list b' for whom no administrative order has been issued. The reason we do not know. The number of fighters on this list is 130 fighters, and they have fought since the beginning of the liberation operations until this day of ours and they have not received any salary, even as they have been with us on ribat and ready in all the obligations, and that is a grievance for them. We have made demands a thousand times regarding them and they have promised us that the order will be issued, but all that is empty talk. As for the rest, and their current number is around 120 fighters, they have the key card and they have a salary.
Note there are Hashd groups formed after us, that is, after the liberation and an order of salaries was issued for them and as for us [i.e. some of our members], no order has been issued for them despite the fact that they are on ribat on their obligations. We have even given wounded people among them: I mean, list b, and no one has paid attention to them.'
4. On current responsibilities of the regiment:
'Among the most important of their priorities: First, to hold the land according to the orders entrusted to us. Second to protect foremost the human and humanitarianism and then the public and private properties and not to exploit anything of what was mentioned above. Third, not to exploit their authority for interests and personal gains. Fourth: to comply with all of the orders that are ordered by the commander of Regiment 41 and not to comply with any order outside the framework of the military institution.'