Iraq's Sinjar: A Forgotten Land (+Video)
BAGHDAD (Tasnim) - Sinjar Kurdish region of Iraq, one and a half years after liberation from Daesh (also known as ISIL) is still empty of citizens and people have not returned to their homes.
According to Tasnim dispatches, because of Sinjar’s geopolitical situation, and particular religious beliefs of the Yazidi people, living in the region, it has been always raided by other ethnic groups.
Because of ongoing tensions among Kurdish parties ruling the region and the local government problems with the Federal Government of Iraq, people are still living in the camps scattered in the Sinjar Mountains and the buildings in the city are still ruined and empty of people.
Who Deserves Ruling Sinjar
Kheder Salih, the leader of the PKK-linked Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and head of the Sinjar local council says that the region has its own security and police forces and determining destiny of the region is the only thing remained to be decided.
Video: The city of Sinjar is still empty of people
Mohammad Khalil, the governor of Sinjar has said to local media in reaction that the Sinjar local council represents less than five percent of the people in this region and can not decide the region’s future.
PKK, KDP Recruitment of Yazidi Youth
Despite partial coordination between the high ranking officials of Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the two major influential Kurdish parties active in the region, the two sides still have not reached consensus on management of the region.
KDP now has a serious rival who has made civil and military headquarters in Sinjar and has recruited many Yazidi youths and this has paved the way for potential conflict among Yazidi community.
Negative Signals for Future
Meanwhile, Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) of Iraq (Hashd al-Shaabi) had also liberated some Yazidi villages from the Daesh occupation and their presence in the region can also effect the balance of power in Sinjar.
Kurdish groups’ internal conflict which has divided the Yazidis community and in the meantime the Turkey role in the region has provoked new conflicts among Kurdish groups which resulted in the deaths of serval local people in recent months. Turkey Army units and their allied forces are now a serious challenge to the region peace.
History of Conflicts in Sinjar
Sinjar, also known as Shingal is a town in Shingal District, Nineveh Province, Iraq near Mount Shingal. The town is inhabited mainly by Yazidis, with a Muslim Kurdish minority. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 88,023.
In the course of their second northern Iraq offensive in August 2014, Daesh conquered large areas of Nineveh province. Following the defeat against the Kurdish Peshmerga, they seized the city of Shingal on 3 August. During the following days, Daesh militants perpetrated the Sinjar massacre, killing 2,000 Yazidi men and taking Yazidi women into slavery, leading to a mass exodus of Yazidi residents. According to a UN report, 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed during ISIL's August offensive.
On 13 November 2015, a day after launching a major second offensive, Kurdish forces and Yazidi militias entered the city and fully regained its control from Daesh.