People of Sinjar demonstrate against Turkish airstrikes

Sinjar, Yazidi people demonstrate against Turkish airstrikes, January 19, 2019. Photo: KirkukNow

Ammar Aziz- Sinjar

Hundreds of people of Sinjar in a demonstration condemned the recent Turkish airstrikes and sent a message to Baghdad.

The protest took place on Sunday and came after the Turkish attacks against a Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) base in Dugure, Sinjar, killing four YBS soldiers.

The airstrikes resulted in the death of Zardasht Shingali, who was the general commander of the YBS.

Sinjar, Yazidi people demonstrate against Turkish airstrikes, January 19, 2019. Photo: KirkukNow

Riham Hassan, a Yazidi participant of the protest, said, “we will deliver our voice with all those participating in this protest. we strongly condemn the Turkish airstrikes at Sinjar.”

She asked countries and especially Iraq not to choose silence.

“We are continuing our struggle until a good result is achieved for everyone,” she added.

Khudida Choki, head of Snuny subdistrict in Sinjar, participated in the protest and stated that, “those people, who are martyred and injured, are neither terrorists nor strangers… we do not know why Baghdad and Erbil have chosen silence. If Baghdad and Erbil actually consider Sinjar as their area, why are they silent?”

YBS is an affiliated Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) force in Sinjar. Most of YBS units withdrew from the area to Syria in accordance to their agreement with the Iraqi government.

Faris Harbo, head of relation of Sinjar Autonomous Administration, said, “in this protest, we have two main aims, firstly to condemn the Turkish airstrikes because it happened several times… secondly, we are against the Iraqi government’s silence because if Iraq chooses silence, it means they are also with the attacks… Iraq should strongly condemn the attacks.”

Iraq should strongly condemn the attacks

Democratic Autonomous Administration was announced after Sinjar liberation from ISIS, however, neither Iraqi government nor regional government in Erbil recognized the administration.

“We assure Turkey that we are not handing over our administration and will continue on our strives,” Harbo claimed.

Previously, on November 19, 2019, numerous YBS fighters were killed in a Turkish airstrike. Also, in December 2018, Turkish warplanes carried out several airstrikes at Sinjar.

Fahad Hammad, commissioner of Sinjar district, last week, told KirkukNow that, “Turkey should not conduct airstrikes with the excuse of YBS base in Sinjar. Turkey should solve its problems with PKK inside Turkey and should not target Yazidi people.”

Hammad explained that the Turkish airstrikes have caused fears and frustrations among people of the area. Likewise, it has become a great barrier to the return of people to Sinjar.

ISIS controlled Sinjar in 2014 and took thousands of Yazidis captive. The district was liberated in 2015 and since then several armed forces including PMF, YBS, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Kurdish Peshmerga have attempt to control the area.



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