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Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

A place for discussion and exchanging ideas about Kurdistan issues here, also a place for sharing article & views and analysis about Kurdistan .

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:25 pm

De-mining at foot
of Mount Sinjar


Major Adel Sleman poured more sweet tea into a small glass. It was cold outside the half-built shed we were sitting in, and we inched closer to the jet-black stove. Kurdish men stood next to small mattresses they had arranged on top of cinder blocks around the stove

Each man seemed to have a different style of camouflage. The pot-bellied major with his loose-fitting fatigues looked dressed ready to blend into a jungle. His colleague Major Hussein Yusuf wore forest green. Even though it was cold, the two men didn’t put on coats.

‘I’ve spent 19 years working in demining,’ said Sleman. Born in 1963 in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, he had been a Peshmerga, or Kurdish soldier, since the 1990s. The younger men under his command, making their beds in a nearby house, were new to soldiering. ‘Sometimes we are here for a month, or up to six months. It depends on necessity.’

Here, for now, was an abandoned house at the foot of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. I’d arrived at night, so the mountain looming behind us only appeared in my imagination. A long hump rising out of the tan desert was what it was supposed to look like, according to photos I’d seen online.

The drive over the mountain that night had been done in pitch black. There was no electricity in this part of Iraq. The infrastructure, such as power lines, had been destroyed during the battles to liberate the area from Islamic State.

At night your surroundings become increasingly intimate in a place without electricity. A car feels like a lonely spacecraft. At the abandoned house, there was a generator the Peshmerga were using, but it was only enough for a few lights. In the distance another generator hummed.

There was another unit of soldiers somewhere out there. One of the younger soldiers shined a large flashlight on the houses and hills around us. Poking into the distance, the light found a ridgeline. The extremists of Islamic State had been cleared from this area a month before I arrived, in November 2015. But the men were cautious. Their AK-47s were slung over their backs or perched nearby.

Sleman had been one of the first Peshmerga to enter a US-led coalition demining training course. His team of engineers was then given an MRAP or Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle, and sent into the field. But it had not been easy. ‘We lost six men from the same family, and they died because we don’t have the right equipment to destroy the mines.’

This was a suicide mission, Sleman thought. On his Samsung phone he showed photos of the last weeks his men had spent in Sinjar city, just south of the mountain, combing through tunnels and houses for what Isis had left behind.

They had come as liberators, but they found a city of ghosts. This was the city Isis had overrun in August 2014. It was where thousands of Yazidi women and children had been taken before being sold into slavery. More than thirty mass graves, filled with the decaying bodies of men and elderly women, pockmarked the fields around the city.

These killing fields had been found in the last few days between the city of Sinjar and the former Yazidi villages beyond. Many of them were within shouting distance of the front line. ‘Daesh must be punished and revenge taken for what they did,’ Sleman said. ‘It’s not my job to decide whether they go to heaven or hell, but rather to send them to Allah to decide.’

How cold can it get in northern Iraq, I’d joked when packing to come to Sinjar. It’s a desert. It’s Iraq. It’s warm. But in December it’s cold, and the cold creeps up on you. Major Sleman offered me lodgings with his officers. ‘Do you snore?’ he wondered. I did, and anyway the mattress next to the outdoor stove looked more comfortable than sleeping on the floor of what had once been a modest two-room house. Outside, under the stars.

So I waddled back to the stove; its rusted exterior held the bits of warmth of a dying fire. The young man with the flashlight, tall and handsome with large eyebrows, came over to sit. He was supposed to be doing guard duty. So with his AK-47 propped against my makeshift bed, I pulled up my jacket, put down an old shirt for a pillow, and curled up next to the fire. Several hours later I awoke to the cold and a sense of shuffling. The major was there with a giant blanket that he tucked over me. I went back to sleep.

In the morning the sound of animals, some kind of sheep-like noises and a man shouting woke me. The sun wasn’t up yet, and it was that beautiful, special time of dawn. No one was awake in the compound, save the Peshmerga on guard duty. He was slumped by the still slightly warm fire.

Last night the pitch black had obscured the settings. Now the small house at the back of the walled compound was visible. Kurdish graffiti in Arabic script was spray-painted on it. There were two adjacent doors to the rooms occupied by officers and men of the demining team. Behind the house the foothills of Mount Sinjar, drab and khaki-colored, stretched into the distance. Little trees dotted them. Walking up toward the little trees was the source of the bleating and clanging, a herd of sheep and a young man out for a morning graze.

De-mining

The rectangular compound, besides the two-room house and the stove with a shed built over it, included a concrete outhouse and another small enclosure against one wall. The outhouse, which the men used, was freezing cold, far colder than the outside air. It was as if it had absorbed all the cold of the night and kept it inside. At least this masked the wretched smells from below. In northern Iraq, many toilets are of the squat variety, just a hole in the ground. There was no toilet paper, just a small watering can, like one might use for flowers, to wash after.

Near to the entrance of the compound was a blue tarp propped over a bunch of gray buckets, tin cans, an oil drum and bottles. Wires and chunks of concrete and bits of tape were fastened to the buckets and cans.

These were the leftovers of the demining. Over the years Isis had become experts in making improvised explosive devices or IEDs. They’d learned this skill from years of insurgency and terror against the Iraqi government and the US Army before 2014. Now Isis handiwork had ended up here, in this compound. It was a bit disconcerting that I’d been sleeping so close to all these explosives. They had been neutralized, their wires cut like in some movie, but they still contained dangerous explosives.

‘Breakfast?’ Vager Saadullah asked. Saadullah was a local journalist turned fixer. We had driven out together to Sinjar. While I’d been checking out the outhouse and IEDs, the compound had begun to wake up. Major Yusuf, the skinny commander, was up and doing calisthenics. He did chin-ups above a door of the house.

One of the young Peshmerga put a pan on the stove and threw on some eggs. These were the eggs we’d bought from Shariah, a Yazidi refugee camp, the day before. When they were fried, Saadullah brought a plastic plate with a wedge of soft cheese. The eggs were an explosion of flavor, more complex and tastier than eggs I’d remembered. Perhaps I was just hungry, but it seemed odd to find such a wonderful egg in the cold in the compound of soldiers in the midst of a vicious war.

https://spectator.us/demining-foot-mount-sinjar/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:23 pm

After ISIS: The Sinjar area
remains key to securing Iraq


Disputed between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Sinjar district in Nineveh province is still central to securing Iraq against an ISIS return

Despite promises of a return to relative stability following ISIS’s territorial defeat, Duraid Hikmat, Nineveh’s director of agriculture, said in July that more than 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of crops had been destroyed in recent fires – about a third by criminals and terrorists and the rest “for natural reasons.”

In Sinjar, the blazes have severely harmed the livelihoods of Sunnis and Yazidis who had begun to return after ISIS drove them out in 2014.

Sinjar is also a strategic area that forms a border with Syria, where both US forces and Iran, Turkey and other regional powers are vying for influence. Four recent explosions of munitions stored at bases of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have led to rumors of foreign airstrikes in Iraq, with fears that a new conflict with Iran could develop.

What follows is an excerpt from my new book, After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East (Gefen Publishing House, 2019):

From Dohuk in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region there are two roads to Sinjar, where ISIS carried out genocide against Iraq’s Yazidi minority.

Archipelago of Refugee Camps

The first road runs near Mosul Dam and then makes its way in a long arc around the Sinjar Mountains to Sinjar city. In 2015, it was dangerous and exposed to fire from ISIS. The second road begins as a large highway that runs north to the Turkish border at Zakho. Taking an exit, one heads west toward Sinjar along the Syrian border through the town of Rabiah. We chose the second.

The landscape along the way in winter is a mix of wet, muddy, caked earth. North of Dohuk there is a new stately white building that marks the new campus of the American University of Dohuk. The roadside is sprinkled with bits of grass, like a dusting of green snow. The mountainous crags of the Kurd Mountains peer down from the east. The road is heavily trafficked by trucks, because the Duhok Province’s government has so directed the thousands of mostly Turkish trucks that ply this route.

This is Kurdistan’s economic lifeline. After the ISIS invasion in 2014, much of Kurdistan was cut off from the Arab areas around Mosul to the east and also from Baghdad to the south. The roads became unsafe, and a disagreement with Baghdad about oil exports led the trade to shift to Turkey via the KRG’s own pipeline. Hundreds of thousands of barrels a day flowed to Turkey. Baghdad cut the KRG’s budget in retaliation, and the KRG became more economically independent but also more dependent on Ankara. Kurdistan had been tied to Turkey before, during the years of Saddam when many refugees fled to Turkey.

“It used to take eleven hours to drive to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government,” explained Vager Saadullah, who accompanied me to Sinjar. “Now it takes two.”

Saadullah had helped me get to Telskuf earlier in 2015, and became my companion on the lonely road to where ISIS committed its crimes. Originally he was just my fixer, hired to help drive and translate, but eventually we became close friends.

As we meandered northwest, there were sparsely populated little villages. One of them is Christian Assyrian; others are Kurdish, part of the diversity of northern Iraq. This is the mosaic that survived the ISIS assault. Signs directed us toward “Shingal,” the Kurdish name for Sinjar. The name refers both to the mountain and to the eponymous city below. As we drove, the road abruptly curved, and rows of white tarps and caravans came into view. They lined a valley, and between them were people, including women and children, walking and playing.

“This is the largest refugee camp for Yazidi refugees,” said Saadullah.

In 2015, there were 20,000 people at this particular camp, refugees from villages around Sinjar. It was one of many similar camps in the area. Most of the Yazidis who fled didn’t go back, even after liberation, and in 2018 they were still there, living on the margins, forgotten by history and the international community. On the sides of the road some men made a living by selling chickens or other foodstuffs. In 2015, little girls hawked $5 phone cards from Korek Telecom, the national carrier of Kurdistan.

We stopped to buy three chickens to bring to people in Sinjar. They cost 20,000 dinars, roughly $20, for seven kilos, or $3 a kilo. The chickens were kept in the back of a truck with a UNHCR logo on the tarp, but these sellers were not UN workers. The young son of the salesman butchered one of the chickens by the side of the road. These refugees said they were from villages that are still occupied by ISIS, or that are close enough to the front line so that they cannot go back. The hope of the KRG government was that once Sinjar was liberated, the 200,000 or so Yazidi refugees would return. In December 2015, the refugees were still in the camps, afraid to go back.

We drove on and came to a purpose-built bridge over the Tigris River. Those rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, which gave birth to Near Eastern civilizations, conjure up feelings of greatness and beauty. Babylon, Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, the great ancient empires now laid waste. The river itself is muddy, utilitarian, not grand. The bridge is like so much of the construction here: a kind of gray, made from cement blocks. An abandoned building was on the far bank. Overlooking the bridge is a Peshmerga checkpoint. Just up the river is the boat crossing to Syria. The old land border crossing was closed at Rabiah in 2014, and those entering Syria are obliged to take a boat.

On the other side in Syria, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) was in charge, having liberated the area from ISIS and created an autonomous region. But the YPG is closely connected to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), and the PKK has very bad relations with the KDP, which is in charge in Erbil. So the KRG and YPG officials didn’t seem to get along on both sides of this border. Even though these two Kurdish entities existed as neighbors, there was no open border.

The road to Sinjar winds its way up a hill, at the top of which is a small kiosk and checkpoint. ”This was the farthest extent of the ISIS advance; they almost got to the Tigris,” said Saadullah. In August 2014, ISIS had swept into this area, surprising Peshmerga defenses and overrunning villages. Entering this borderland, having passed the refugee camp, is like retracing the trauma and genocide of the Yazidis in reverse.

It is to follow the Kurdish liberation of these areas as well. After the initial reverses in early August 2014, a reinvigorated Kurdish force swept ISIS from this high ground overlooking the river and pushed it back to the Sinjar Mountains. The Kurds returned to their villages, such as one whose sign indicated it was called Shebane. It’s still a poor village, but the Kurdish and PDK and PUK flags fly, representatives of the two main political parties of Kurdistan. The houses are a dull gray cement.

It was “Kurdish Flag Day,” the 17th of December, as we drove on. Kids were selling flags throughout Kurdistan – at one store, flags mixed with military uniforms. Many young men wore camouflage, because either they were already in the security forces or they wanted to be. Women dressed in long, flowing gowns, the traditional outfit. Others wore uniforms, a reminder of the numerous women who serve in the Kurdish forces. This is a war of contrasts. A contrast between Kurdistan, where there are churches and Yazidis and women dress as they please and restaurants serve alcohol, and the strict, Manichaean world of Daesh, as ISIS is called locally.

WHEN ISIS swept into Iraq, it exploited the Sunni Arab resentment of the Baghdad government’s Shi’ite-dominated halls of power. There had been perennial insurgency among Sunnis since the fall of Saddam, through a brutal terror campaign first run by al-Qaeda and then by ISIS. Few understood in 2014 that ISIS was not just an ordinary brutal extremist movement, but that it would mean total ethnic cleansing of minorities and eventually genocide.

There used to be wheat in these fields leading to Sinjar, said locals. But the villages are deserted. One village along the road had been an Arab village, but the locals said it collaborated with ISIS, and when the Peshmerga retook it, the people fled. It is a ghost town now, with many buildings destroyed. It wasn’t clear if they had been destroyed in fighting or afterward to ensure the residents did not come back. Along the road one can see forts that Saddam Hussein built during the 1980s.

This is a landscape of death, I thought. The lonely road to Sinjar is a straight line. The metal pylons to some power lines are broken in half or droop like giraffes eating from the ground. It looks like a post-apocalyptic world. Houses that were once stately farms on both sides of the road are abandoned; some of their roofs are destroyed. The abandoned Iraqi army checkpoints here are decorated with graffiti from wars gone by. Some have Iraqi flags on them, crossed out now. Others have graffiti noting that the Rojava Peshmerga, Kurds from Syria who are connected to the KDP, are manning these checkpoints. They are unable to operate in Syria because the YPG, the most powerful Kurdish group there, does not let them. The political rivalry with the YPG is rooted in the KDP-PKK rivalry. The PKK has branches in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. The KDP also has influence in all four countries. These are the two pan-Kurdish parties and political traditions.

Passing through Rabiah, we found the town partly in ruins. Here and there Arab men pasture sheep or a family squats in a courtyard. Some boys play with a fire kindled on the ground.

A large hospital building dominates the skyline, its walls blown in and roof partially collapsed. The monumental building was the site of a large battle during fighting between Peshmerga and ISIS in the fall of 2014. The central hospital in Rabiah was occupied by foreign volunteers for ISIS. Around 60 Kurds died to liberate it.

Most of this city was heavily damaged in fighting in August and September 2014. One road leads from Rabiah to Mosul Dam and passes through several Arab villages mostly inhabited by the Shammer tribe. According to the Yazidi and Kurdish Peshmerga, the Shammer did not collaborate with ISIS, and when the war passed through here and ISIS was defeated, the tribe stayed in its villages. In those places where there are Shammer, one sees signs of some bit of normal civilian life. Kids play soccer next to a burned-out car. Men chat by the roadside.

But life here has obviously become wretched. People draw water from wells; there is no business to be done. Shepherds take their flocks out, even in the abandoned city. A fat, white cow eats from an oil drum used as a trash can by Peshmerga who are keeping watch on the border. To the north, where the sun’s rays light the buildings, are factories in Syria. This was once an area of commerce and production. The war fell hard on those large institutional buildings that could be used for defense.

As we pass onward, the terrain seems more scarred by war. Abandoned sandbagged military positions dot the landscape. Twisted and broken metal objects, junk and steel, are in piles, part of what was once a series of shops on the side of the street. The road is guarded by Kurdish checkpoints every few kilometers. Many of the Yazidi residents of this area had not returned in December 2015; most of them would not return over the following years, either.

Along the way I spoke with some of the Rojava Peshmerga. Rojava is the Kurdish name for eastern Syria. Erbil had sent them to guard this lonely landscape, the closest they can get to their homes in Syria.

“There was the Kurdish National Assembly that was for Syrian Kurds from Rojava who wanted to fight the Syrian regime,” one of their officers said over tea. The PYD, the political wing of the YPG, did not let them enter Syria, and they claimed the YPG has a Stalinist mentality. They also argued that the YPG received weapons from the Assad regime. So they ended up in northern Iraq, guarding checkpoints along a long, cold, lonely road that runs to Sinjar, in the shadow of the ISIS genocide.

The Rojava commander said that the Yazidis he has seen fear to come back. There is no electricity in the area except by generator. Many a Yazidi plies the road taking stuff out of Sinjar but not returning to stay. He personally saw a mass grave of 74 bodies when his unit helped to liberate a village. Many of these men resent the Arabs who joined ISIS and who now want to come back.

Along the road we saw several Arabs pasturing sheep, but only some have returned to these villages. The return of the Arab tribes to this area is something the Yazidis in the town of Snune said they feared. The days of some sort of coexistence with Arab neighbors are over. They don’t trust the Arabs, who they say celebrated the arrival of ISIS. Many Yazidi survivors of the genocide, including women who were enslaved, recalled how their neighbors turned on them. Some of the men who purchased and raped them had once lived next door in Arab villages.

The main street in Snune, north of Mount Sinjar, was once intended to be redone as a stately thoroughfare. The town is part of an area disputed between the KRG and Baghdad’s central government. The KRG had invested money before 2014 in pretty, tall, white street lights, decorated with gold emblems at the base. The lights are still there, but most of the town is in varying states of ruin. A thriving market does business selling to Peshmerga soldiers. Most of the people in this Yazidi district that numbered more than 10,000 have not returned.

The owner of one of the shops, Adar, a long black coat wrapped around his shoulders, said he came back the day the village was liberated in December 2014. He vividly recalled that day, August 3, 2014, when the people packed what they could into cars and fled. “We knew what ISIS will do; they had killed people in Mosul,” said Adar.

They had seen their people fleeing Sinjar and knew that these villages would fall as well, as ISIS swept north of the mountain. In August 2014, the Kurdish YPG coming from Syria, with help from Western airpower, was able to rescue Yazidis trapped on the mountain. In December the Kurdish forces were able to retake the area, and on the 17th of December, Adar came back.

“Many people did not; there is no school, no electricity, the water is bad, there are no services,” he said.

At Sharf A-Din, a local shrine and pilgrimage site, photos of martyrs from the war adorned the site. I watched as a man climbed up to the cylindrical steeple that marks the shrine so he could take a selfie. These cylindrical-style temples mark the landscape in this region of northern Iraq. North of Erbil as one enters the Yazidi villages on the way to Dohuk, they are visible from the road. In Sinjar they were once common. This style of construction is integral to the history and culture of Iraq and the Kurdish region.

The ancient Nabi Yunus Mosque in Mosul incorporated the same cylinder on its roof, alongside a minaret, a testament to the way different faiths have shared the region. But ISIS systematically tried to erase Yazidi holy sites, just as it sought to commit genocide against the people. It blew up shrines and demolished them. Sharf a-Din survived because of the dogged defense led by a man named Qasim Shesho.

Nearby is the house of the famed commander. When we went there, the Peshmerga guarded the compound, which also seemed to double as Shesho’s command post. The yard was strewn with Humvees and various other vehicles with mounted weapons. It’s a strange sight in a small village with a religious shrine. But it represents what ISIS wrought on this district and the changes it caused.

Many thousands of Yazidis joined the Peshmerga and also the PKK or local units called the Ezidkhan Protection Forces (HPE), and trained in war. The whole Yazidi district was festooned with checkpoints and military camps. I saw no civilian life. Those who learned war earlier in life, such as Shesho, proved prescient. As the quote attributed to Trotsky is commonly paraphrased, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

Shesho’s life seems to have been something made for a movie. A former prisoner of Saddam, he was a kind of mountain warlord and bandit, assassinating Ba’athist officers before fleeing abroad. After 1991, he settled down and became a local political figure. In 2014, he took up arms again to fight ISIS. When the Kurdish Peshmerga fled, he held on with just 17 men to defend the shrine. He resolved to die fighting, but although ISIS attacked, he survived. Eventually his 17 followers grew to thousands, and he helped to liberate Sinjar. His son Yassir Kasim Khalaf Shesho, who was living in Germany, came back to defend the shrine. When I met him, he proudly showed off the M-16 rifle that his fighters had acquired.

Driving from his compound up the mountain, we passed a cemetery for PKK and YPG fighters who helped to save the Yazidis from ISIS. A concrete-walled base along the road was occupied by the YPG and PKK forces from Syria, a giant poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned Kurdish leader in Turkey, affixed on the hillside above. At night these giant posters were illuminated by lights, an oddity in an area where electricity is rare and everything runs by generator. The Turkish air force would bomb this cemetery in April 2017.

Mount Sinjar

Ascending the mountain, a short drive after leaving Sinjar city, is a long, slow process with unending bends in the road. Along the way are thousands of tents and makeshift houses inhabited by Yazidis. There are only a few signs of international organizations – a Red Crescent tent, a few UNHCR tarps, and a sign reading “Mission East.”

These people have been abandoned by the world. There were also competing interests at play on the mountain: the KDP, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ruling party, has several Peshmerga posts along the road, as do the YPG and the PKK, the Kurdish organizations that operate in Syria and Turkey. In October 2017, the Peshmerga would abandon the area to the Iraqi army, and in April 2018, the PKK would leave after Turkish threats. When we drove up the mountain, that future didn’t seem possible; the Peshmerga were firmly in control.

The mountain is beautiful. Its rising fins of stone reveal a tortured geological history. The mountain was a crucible in 2014 through which more than 100,000 Yazidi people fled ISIS. It was a place of both refuge and starvation. Here the Yazidis who wished to remain close to their lands and within sight of the plains around Sinjar and Snune stayed to fight and die in the mountains.

A year and a half later, the results of that epic struggle could be seen. The cars that passed were full of men in varying uniforms. Like many of the Peshmerga, they buy their military equipment from local stores. Their AK-47s are aging, and they complain they are substandard.

Standing near the summit of Mount Sinjar was a newly built monument: a replica of a pickup truck with a twin-mounted DShK machine gun on the back. It overlooks a snake-like road that stretches down toward Sinjar city. It was at this spot that Qasim Dorbu, a Yazidi fighter, defended the mountain on August 3, 2014, when ISIS swept across the plains below.

A plaque said he saved thousands of Yazidi refugees’ lives by his stubborn defense. ISIS could not break through and remained below the summit, to be pushed back by Kurdish forces in December 2014. Nearby was a health clinic run by a Kurdish woman that helps to serve the needs of the 20,000 Yazidi IDPs who sought shelter on the mountain. Their tents and huts dot the landscape on the road north of the summit.

The visible stain of the crimes against the Yazidi could be seen along the roads leading to the summit. Colorful clothes left behind by the fleeing people were everywhere, as were the cars that they abandoned. It was like an open air museum of suffering and genocide.

Sheikh Naser Basha Khalaf provided an example of this transformation from victimized society of a peaceful, poverty-stricken minority to an armed organization, taking their future in their own hands. On one shoulder he slung his $5,000 Russian sniper rifle, and around his belt he wore a silver-handled revolver.

Sheikh Naser comes from a well-known family in Sinjar that has the status of sheikhs in the Yazidi faith and leaders of the Yazidi tribes. A local leader and media officer in a local party branch of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, he has the role of a community and religious leader as well as a politician.

In December 2015, the Yazidis ran the intelligence office in Sinjar and the municipality, and had thousands of their Peshmerga strung out over the mountain and on the front line against ISIS. There were also members of the YPG and local affiliates, their triangular flags fluttering atop their vehicles. The two groups coexisted uneasily, both fighting ISIS but suspicious of each other. Like the Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who returned to Central Europe with the various Allied and Soviet armies, these Yazidi men and some women who joined different fighting units went through a horrid crucible to see the future in this region.

It is hard to describe a landscape so torn and broken. Leaving the mountain behind, one sees the terraces and old stone houses at its base. This area was once disputed between the Baghdad-based federal government and the Kurdistan region. Then it came firmly into the hands of the Kurds, whose checkpoints are in every locality, whose flags fly from the homes. It is a sign of how the rise of ISIS created a firm determination in the KRG and its unified forces that these disputed regions would be finally taken and administered. At the time I jotted down in my notes, “There is no way for the Baghdad government to get to these areas. ISIS occupies the area between Sinjar and Baghdad.”

The Kurds and Yazidis say they no longer trust the Arabs here, who supported ISIS. The genocide committed against the Yazidis, and the speed with which ISIS conquered this area, hardened the view that most of these Arabs who once lived here should not return. Local people recall how their neighbors turned on them, how they hoisted the black flag, and how Iraqi troops melted away and left behind weapons for ISIS that were used to deadly effect against the Kurds and Yazidis.

There are other forces at work as well. Many Kurds argue that Saddam tried to “Arabize” the land around Sinjar, and brought in many Arabs to live in villages nearby and destroyed Kurdish and Yazidi villages. Many Yazidi tribes were collectivized and placed in planned villages around Sinjar.

The genocide in 2014 represented the continuation of a cycle that had begun under Saddam of removing them from the land and pitting them against Arab neighbors. The reversal of this trend came in 2015, when the Arabs fled and Kurds came to control Sinjar. But Yazidis remained victims, unable to return from IDP camps and still living marginal lives on the mountain. The Kurds did not move into the abandoned villages or rebuild them. The ruined villages were left as a kind of museum of this most brutal of wars and a reminder of how powerful ISIS was.

https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/After ... raq-600057
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:15 pm

Yazidi woes drag on after ISIS defeat
religious persecution worsens globally


Dalal Khairo was kidnapped by ISIS, then raped and abused by nine successive militants after the group swept across Iraq in 2014. The 22-year-old lives in Germany now, and says there is not much of a Yazidi homeland to return to

    “The Yazidis are better off moving to other countries because Iraq is not safe; Sinjar is not safe. Even if they rebuilt the area, it is now controlled by various militia groups and is too dangerous to go back to.”
“The Yazidis are better off moving to other countries because Iraq is not safe; Sinjar is not safe,” Khairo said, referring to the Yazidi heartland in northern Iraq. “Even if they rebuilt the area, it is now controlled by various militia groups and is too dangerous to go back to.”

This month, Khairo and other Yazidis marked five years since ISIS overran northwestern Iraq, murdering an estimated 5,000 Yazidi men and boys who refused to convert to Islam, and enslaving some 7,000 women and girls, including some as young as 9.

The anniversaries of the killings of Yazidis and Rohingya Muslims will likely be on the minds of world leaders as they meet in New York in September to discuss security threats at the annual UN General Assembly.

ISIS was pushed out of Iraq in 2017, but the religious hard-liners cast a long shadow across the Yazidi religious minority, who ISIS branded “infidels” and subjected to sex slavery, murder and other horrors.

The brutality against Yazidis was an extreme example of religious persecution — one that triggered an international military intervention that left ISIS decimated. But from China’s gulags for Muslims to a synagogue massacre in the United States, minority faith groups face more frequent attacks nowadays and solutions are in short supply.

Like other abductees, Khairo, then 17, says she was sold, gifted and shared among ISIS fighters, forced to memorize Quranic verses and beaten and humiliated, including by the resentful wives of militiamen.

Eventually, Khairo managed to escape. Her mother and sister, also kidnapped, are missing, while her brothers were killed or forced to become child ISIS fighters. She now lives in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, thanks to a local government initiative for ISIS survivors.

Back in Sinjar, land mines and sporadic violence have slowed reconstruction work. Jobs, schools, hospitals and running water are scarce, says the Jesuit Refugee Service, an aid group that assists Yazidis.

Only a quarter of Sinjar’s original Yazidi population has returned home. Some 300,000 others live in camps up north in Kurdistan, where they continue to practice a faith that draws from Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and elsewhere.

ISIS abuses against Yazidis are among the most clear-cut examples of faith-based persecution and violence in recent times, but they are by no means an exception, says Sam Brownback, the US envoy for religious freedom.

This month, the mostly-Muslim Rohingya minority marked two years since the start of an exodus from genocidelike violence in Myanmar. In China, as many as 1 million members of the Uighur Muslims languish in government-run “reeducation camps.”

In October, a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left 11 Jewish worshippers dead. In March, another lone gunman killed 51 Muslims at Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    “The state of religious freedom around the world is bad and it's getting worse
“The state of religious freedom around the world is bad, and it's getting worse,” Brownback, the US envoy for religious freedom, told reporters at the UN headquarters this month.

According to Brownback, 83% of the world’s 7.7 billion people live in countries where religious freedom is threatened or denied. One-third of them faces religious persecution, according to Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

Eleven people are killed daily as a result of religious persecution, Czaputowicz says.

“We’re working with like-minded countries to push on the topic of religious freedom globally so that we can start getting the trend line going the other way, so that the iron curtain of religious persecution comes down,” Brownback said.

While the problem of violence against faith groups is manifest, tackling it is a head-scratcher.

It is difficult to hatch a wholesale approach to address everything from the Christian, anti-Balaka militia’s hits on Muslims in central Africa to Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists, who have killed thousands in a decadelong insurgency against the government.

It is even harder to draw a line between Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man accused of gunning down Muslim worshippers in New Zealand, and the Chinese officials who decided to inter masses of Muslims behind razor-wire fences in Xinjiang.

For Clive Baldwin, a legal adviser at Human Rights Watch, a campaign group, the lines are often blurry.

Baldwin points to Syria’s civil war, which has at times pitted Sunni Muslims and minority Alawites, Christians and others against one another — but the conflict cannot be understood in purely religious terms, he says.

    “It can be difficult to distinguish between religious, ethnic and racial discrimination.”
“It can be difficult to distinguish between religious, ethnic and racial discrimination,” Baldwin said.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, calls for better monitoring for “early warning signs” of looming atrocities. Political leaders often spend months or years vilifying a religious minority in speeches and interviews before they execute their plans.

Czaputowicz, who recently hosted Khairo at a UN meeting on minority faiths, also has a formula: Foster a culture of tolerance, promote exchanges between different religious groups and prosecute anyone who promotes violence against minorities.

Khairo agrees. Like many Yazidis, she feels her people have suffered from violence of Holocaust-like proportions, but there is little international support for a Nuremberg-style tribunal where ISIS fighters answer for their crimes.

In Sinjar, war crimes sleuths have only examined a handful of the scores of Yazidi mass graves. Even with counseling, many ISIS survivors battle trauma and depression. Among Yazidi teens and young adults, suicide rates are up.

In Germany, Khairo has access to teachers and therapists. She makes use of them, but spends most of her time searching for clues about missing relatives or campaigning in support of Yazidis and justice for victims of ISIS.

“I travel the world and give 30-minute speeches, and people tell me how strong I am and how much they appreciate me telling my story,” Khairo said, speaking through an interpreter.

“If they're nodding, I think it means they will help. But the help is taking too long and it could come too late — after all the survivors have emigrated.”

https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-08-30/ ... s-globally

The long suffering Yazidis deserve peace in their land - is there not a single country who will rid the Yazidis or all the dangerous militia groups fighting to control Yazidi land

The coalition did eventually help to rid the area of many ISIS

But, whereas before the Yazidis only had one group of murdering savages to contend with, now they have several militia groups trying to take control of their lands

What exactly was the coalition?

A group of countries

    Happy to spend a lot of money throwing bombs at people

    Happy to leave the Yazidis in poverty, in leaking tents for 5 years

    Not happy to help secure the Yazidi lands or offer any long term protection

    Not happy to help rebuild the area that they themselves helped to destroy

    Not happy enough bother rescuing the 3,000 Yazidis still in captivity
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:07 am

Iraq’s Yazidi survivors fight to start over

More than half of the thousands of Yazidis kidnapped by so-called Islamic State have now returned to northern Iraq, often from years in forced sexual slavery. But going home often means confronting social stigma and trying to rebuild their broken lives with little assistance

Iraq has struggled to recover from years fighting ISIS, but the Yazidis – 500,000 of whom fled after ISIS seized their historical homeland in 2014 – have had an especially difficult time going home after mass killings, rapes, and enslavement deemed a genocide by a UN commission.

After captivity, those challenges – destroyed homes, safety fears, financial woes – are often compounded by trauma and lingering physical problems. And as aid groups increasingly struggle to muster sustained funding, many returning Yazidis also say government help has been insufficient.

Tarko, rescued in 2017 after three years of sexual servitude, told The New Humanitarian that she and others like her have not had the assistance they need, or expected, from the Iraqi authorities. “We have no rights,” said Tarko, who asked that her full name not be published. “Imagine if there were no NGOs helping; would they leave us here with absolutely nothing?”

A total of 3,476 survivors have returned from ISIS imprisonment, according to Hussein al-Qadi, director of the Office of Kidnapped Yazidis – funded by the Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG, which runs the semi-autonomous Kurdish part of northern Iraq.

Some Yazidis escaped, often as territories controlled by ISIS in Iraq and Syria were liberated.

But many returnees were “bought” by Yazidi negotiators who paid ISIS fighters or people smugglers for their release, said al-Qadi. This usually requires family members to raise the fee needed to pay smugglers or militants themselves – often around $10,000 per person.

Once the captives are back in Iraq, families can apply for reimbursement from the Office of Kidnapped Yazidis, but the process can be time-consuming and some claimants complained to TNH that they hadn’t yet received their money.

3,000 Yazidis are still missing

Housing and protection

When they first come back from captivity, many people are taken to a camp 53 kilometres from the city of Dohuk, in KRG-administered territory. The camp is officially called Rwanga, but is still referred to by most people here by its previous name, Kadia.

Even though camps like Kadia are technically secure – usually watched over by a security guard – they are not always a safe haven. The experience of Karima, a young survivor whose story was recounted to TNH by negotiator Mahmoud Shingal, is a case in point.

“Karima’s brother called me three months after we brought her back, saying she’d vanished [from the camp where the family was living in northern Iraq],” Shingal said. “I tried to contact her former ISIS husband, and eventually he called and said: ‘I stole the girl back and now she’s with me in Turkey’.”

Shingal said Karima’s husband had been arrested by anti-ISIS forces in Syria and was later released, leaving him free to return to Iraq to look for Karima. “She was brainwashed, and no organisation helped to de-brainwash or de-radicalise her, so she went back,” he said. “She’s still in Turkey with him now.”

The handful of Yazidi negotiators, who often also work regular jobs, are rarely in a position to help survivors after they are rescued. “We can only do so much for the girls, and that’s to get them out. After that, they’re on their own,” said Shingal. “And too often there isn’t enough support, as with Karima.”

In Kadia, where 3,000 prefabricated shelters accommodate around 15,000 people, there are some services on offer, like a “reintegration centre” opened in 2017 by the French NGO

Together in One

Its aim is to provide a safe space where survivors and children can learn and play, and the centre’s psychotherapist, Naif Jirdo, said that 191 survivors had benefited from the project. With little else to occupy their time in Kadia, as many as 150 people visit each day, taking advantage of group activities and language courses.

Much-needed psychotherapy is also offered at the centre, but many people leave Kadia soon after they arrive to live with extended family members; the majority of the more than 220,000 still-displaced Yazidis do not live in camps, but rather in cities and towns around northern Iraq.

Some have gone back to Sinjar, the district most associated with the Yazidis, but much of the area was destroyed by fighting and there is a shortage of public services.

Social stigma

Another barrier to return is that the Yazidi community, which is traditionally closed to outsiders and forbids conversion or interfaith marriage, does not accept children born to Muslim fathers, including members of ISIS.

In late April, the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council, the group’s highest religious body, said children fathered by ISIS members would be accepted by the community despite their mixed parentage, but the decision was quickly reversed.

This policy is deterring some women from rejoining their families, some observers said.

According to Professor Jan Ilham Kizilhan, the dean of Dohuk’s Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychotraumatology, “there are between 200 and 260 women in Syrian camps [including al-Hol and others], living in a very terrible situation because they don’t want to leave their children behind.”

This problem was compounded, Kizilhan said, by Iraqi law, in which a child with one Muslim parent and one Yazidi parent is automatically registered as a Muslim: “These women have often lost all family, and now the state, which should protect people, does not [protect them].”

This may change. According to Ali Albayati, a member of Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, parliament is considering a draft law about ISIS survivors that, if passed, is expected to let the leaders of Iraq’s religious minorities determine how these children are registered.

After years of rape and forced labour, even survivors without children sometimes struggle to fit back in after they come home.

Kamal Mourad Saleh, the deputy head of nursing at the hospital in Sinouni, a Yazidi town in Sinjar, said one young patient had confided in him that she felt rejected by the Yazidi community after she was sold to 12 different ISIS fighters as a “wife”.

“In general, she found people didn’t accept or respect her because she’d been with ISIS, especially at home, where she complained of mistreatment by her parents and fellow siblings,” he said, adding that hers was not a singular case.

Dr. Nezar Ismet Taib, a psychiatrist and the Dohuk Department of Health’s director-general, said that while previous statements from the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council and former KRG President Masoud Barzani welcoming IS survivors back into the community had been helpful, “a few families still talk about ‘foreign blood’, ‘foreign influence’, and women being ‘unclean’.”

‘Sustained, and sustainable, help’

A local nonprofit that Saleh heads up, Jilan, is trying to address some of the issues returning survivors face by building the first of three planned safe houses in Sinouni.

Funded by a German NGO, these houses will offer protected accommodation to women and children who have returned from captivity, including IS-fathered children. The aim, Saleh said, is to keep children of mixed parentage, who “are usually rejected by the woman’s family”, within the community.

A range of local and international NGOs also work with Yazidis, both in Sinjar and in the Kurdish region, but their projects require funding and Iraq’s long-term needs have led to donor fatigue.

Anne Norona, who runs a UK-based NGO called Yazidi Emergency Support (Y.E.S.), said funding from the UK government had enabled the launch of a “sustainable living” project in Sinjar’s Dohola village earlier this year, featuring vocational knitting and sewing courses for women.

But the project ended when the money was spent, Norona said. “With deep regret, we’re unable to continue funding such projects for long periods of time without financial backing.”

Public goodwill is waning, too, she said. Two years ago, she could use social media to swiftly fundraise $1,000 for projects to help Yazidis, but now she struggles to generate $100.

Aid groups and the Yazidis themselves say projects that bring jobs or job training are sorely needed, as they help to bring income and dignity to survivors.

“What really helps successful recoveries is jobs and work opportunities – occupations to stop survivors thinking about what happened,” said Khairi Aezdeen, a 30-year-old displaced Yazidi who volunteers with Y.E.S. in the Dohuk area.

Jirdo, the psychotherapist at the centre in Kadia, is also hoping to find funding for vocational training there.

“Survivors do need financial support, but the most important thing is vocational support and job opportunities,” he said. “What we need is sustained, and sustainable, help.”

Financial support

While aid groups speak of training courses, most returnees have been reduced to abject poverty, and say they simply need money – in addition to training, shelter, and basic healthcare.

Survivors living in the Kurdish region are entitled to a monthly stipend of around 100,000 Iraqi dinars ($84) from the KRG, but they must pick it up from an office in Dohuk, which can be costly just to reach.

Mazin Salim, 14, who was taken captive and forced to fight with ISIS, said he has to pay 15,000 Iraqi dinars ($13) for a taxi just to reach the office, which is some 160 kilometres from the village where he lives. But he makes the journey each month, because his family relies heavily on the stipend.

Financial support from Iraq’s central government also appears minimal. Albayati, of the High Commission for Human Rights, said that 600 Yazidi survivors were registered to receive financial support from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – an amount, he said, that would not exceed $330 per month. To his knowledge, no other compensation is available.

Financial support is a key component of the draft law before parliament, he said.

Despite the obstacles, some survivors have managed to move forward with their lives.

Bevereen Ali, 21, escaped from ISIS in 2016 and fell in love with a cousin, Nuri Faisal, after a year of telephone romance. When Canada granted her family asylum, she chose to stay and marry Faisal, moving to his small farm in a village near Sinjar.

Intermittent water was recently restored, but Ali said there is little support to help meet basic needs and no schools for the handful of children who came back. The couple lost their summer crops to the fires that recently swept through the region.

Faisal described their relationship as a challenge to ISIS, living proof that the Yazidi community and its spirit had not been destroyed.

“Three of my brothers were killed by ISIS, but we can’t always be sad,” Ali said, grasping Faisal’s hand. “When I laugh, it doesn’t mean I’m not sad about what happened. But we must challenge sorrow.”

She continued: “In the [Dohuk] camp, I had psychological support every month, but here, there are no medical services, nothing. But now I’m in love and happy, life is very different. Normal life has become my psychologist.”

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/feat ... vors-fight
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:34 pm

Yazidi farmers work to revive
lands destroyed by ISIS


Walking through Sakvan Sulaiman Hussein's farmland brings moments of serenity. His 13.5 acres seem vast — spotted with a just a few trees and the sounds of chirping of birds

Yet the destruction ISIS inflicted when they captured the Sinjar region in northwest Iraq in August 2014 is still visible, especially in the patchy lands Yazidi farmers now struggle to cultivate to regenerate their livelihood.

Hussein's farm is in Tal Qasab, a small village around six miles southeast of Sinjar city, the regional home to the Yazidi community. In its prime, the farm provided barley, wheat, tomato, eggplant, peppers, oranges, and olives, not only for Hussein's family but surplus to be sold at nearby markets.

When ISIS came to Sinjar in 2014 and undertook a genocidal campaign against the Yazidis, whom they consider "devil worshipers," these farmlands, traditionally the main source of income for families, were wiped out.

In their rampage, ISIS burned and destroyed all of the crops and trees and looted the farms' property and machinery. It was a tactic used to prevent the Yazidis from returning to a stable life.

Twenty-five-year-old Hussein, with his wife and six children, returned to the destroyed village of Tal Qasab in August 2017 after staying in Qadiya IDP camp near Zakho, in the north of Iraq at the Turkish border. ISIS reduced their house to rubble, stole all of their belongings and destroyed their farm.

Sakvan Sulaiman Hussein, 25, returned to his farm in Tal Qasab, south of Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, to revitalize his farm after it was destroyed by ISIS.

"The trees were cut down, some were also burnt, we had a generator for water to supply the fields or farm with water, that was also gone," Hussein said.

The city of Sinjar and the surrounding villages were recaptured by Kurdistan Peshmerga and Yazidi fighters with the Sinjar Resistance Unit in November 2015, removing the occupation ISIS had held for 15 months.

This created a pathway for the over 500,000 Yazidis who fled the oncoming ISIS fighters to return home from their temporary shelter in IDP camps in the Kurdistan region of Iraq or, more commonly, in informal urban settlements, abandoned or rented houses.

While Sinjar and its villages like Tal Qasab have now been controlled by Yazidi forces for nearly four years, the displaced population still face hurdles returning to their homes.

A UNHCR survey conducted in February 2019 indicates only 3 percent of the internally displaced Yazidis intend to return home within the next year. About 40 percent say the main reasons for not returning are the "presence of mines" and "lack of security forces."

About 30 percent said that "damage and destruction of homes" along with "fear of discrimination" kept them from returning, while 13 percent said they had "no financial means to return."

Hussein and his family decided to return to their village and farmland to start generating income so their children could continue their studies. Since returning, they rely on the Iraqi government for supplies like flour, sugar, and rice to survive. Hussein solely focuses on farm regeneration because his entire future depends on it.

For the first two years after returning to Tal Qasab, Hussein was unable to work in the fields as there was still a risk of landmines left behind by ISIS. Now cleared by Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and G4S, a UN subcontractor, Hussein has started to plant barley, wheat, and onions this year.

"After one or two months I will try to harvest it and sell it," Hussein said hopefully.

This first plantation was made possible with the support of Nadia's Initiative, a nongovernmental organization that launched a pilot project in southern Sinjar earlier this year to help Yazidi farmers rehabilitate their fields.

The project was individually tailored to the needs of farmers who had already returned to Tal Qasab but had no way to make an income. Nadia's Initiative was founded by Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of rape and genocide who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 and used the prize money to fund her initiative that same year.

As part of their agricultural project during the seeding season of October 2018 to March this year, Nadia's Initiative provided seeds, generators, electrical wires, greenhouses, and water tanks to up to 15 households in Tal Qasab.

Nadia's Initiative Iraq country manager, Silvia Croll, explained their focused efforts on farmers south of Sinjar mountain, like Hussein, in Tal Qasab, is based on ISIS' targeted focus in this region rather than villages in the north.

"We are assessing exactly what each farm needs, one farm might have a generator but need a tank, or one would need pipes, so we would give them the pipes," Croll said.

While Hussein has been able to plant a minimal amount of crops for this year, he faces roadblocks to maximizing his farm's potential. He explained that while he owns a generator, it needs to run on transistors from an energy supply and his village is not yet linked to electricity.

"We are limited in what we could plant this year. Everything we planted depended on the rain," Hussein said. "The rain this year was a lot so maybe the rain also helped us, but that is not enough for us, [it] is not sufficient to plant more trees and fields."

In order to plant full fields of vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, beans, eggplant, and okra, Hussein will need to used irrigation driven by a transistor-run generator.

When asked if there was any government support for agriculture or electricity for Yazidi farmers, Hussein started laughing.

"Not at all, they didn't help us or others at all," he said

Talal Ali, the chief agriculturalist with the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture Nineveh Branch, stated the average annual rainfall in Sinjar is less than 10 inches and therefore needs a supplementary irrigation project. Ali acknowledges that Yazidis have always relied on farming as the main source of income and stresses they are now in a "very difficult" situation.

"They are suffering from poverty and all the necessities of life," Ali said.

He went on to say the Yazidis in Sinjar need full government support and attention, though, within society and administration levels, they are "discriminated against and deprived of dignity and rights."

"They need an efficient, honest, and independent administration to manage their areas."

Croll from Nadia's Initiative echoes the lack of support from the government and highlights another issue affecting crops.

"Access to fertilizer has been a tricky issue for the whole of northern Iraq because it is said with fertilizers you can produce explosives, [so] people have been prevented from [using them in the past]," Croll said.

While there's no official ban on buying fertilizer, it can only be purchased in Mosul, and Yazidis must secure approval from the Mosul Operations Commander to travel through checkpoints.

Hussein notices the lack of large international nongovernmental organizations working in southern Sinjar.

"In the north of the mountain of Sinjar, NGOs are working there because those towns weren't destroyed by Daesh [ISIS]," he said, indicating existing infrastructure is easier for NGOs to show progress.

There is also a greater perceived security risk in accessing or returning to villages south of the mountain due to various Iran-backed militia groups manning the region and ISIS sleeper cells in nearby Arab villages.

Ali at the Ministry of Agriculture stresses the need for more investment in agriculture by international companies and NGOs to encourage Yazidis to return to their homeland and once again make a living from their farms. Croll is witnessing a slow shift in donor in support: emergency funds earmarked for Yazidis have dwindled now that the crisis is not perceived as "urgent."

"It's hard to say we're not in an emergency anymore, even though we're not in war [time]... it is still an emergency situation," Croll said.

While walking through his farm, Hussein can see the only way for the rest of the Yazidi community to kickstart their lives again comes from abroad.

"We want to receive support from all people
    so we can plant crops and live better."

https://theweek.com/articles/855541/yaz ... ed-by-isis

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:23 pm

Sex slave survivor to face one
of her ISIS rapists in court


On a bitter day in the dead of winter, as 2017 was drawing to a close, Shatha Salim Bashar was rescued from hell

The Yazidi made it home after almost three-and-a-half years as an ISIS sex slave in Iraq and Syria.

“I can’t forget the first time I was raped,” Shatha, 28, told Fox News. “I was traded 14 times among the jihadists.”

She was kidnapped alongside her mother, her sister, and two younger brothers. In the beginning, she pretended to be the mother of her youngest brother, aged just 3 – in the hopes she would be spared violation if ISIS militants believed she was not a virgin.

But Shatha was violated by every one of her 14 enslavers. Moreover, the tiny young woman was used as a human shield by ISIS, thrust onto the frontlines in Syria and forced to watch her best Yazidi friend die on the battlefield. Her reunification months later should have been one of jubilation – but her friend’s family also arrived with smiles, thinking the women were rescued together. Shatha was the one to break the shattering news.

In spite of all she has endured since ISIS suddenly stormed her village of Kocho, in the foothills of Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain on August 15, 2014, Shatha’s scars – inside and out – have become her stories.

Next month, Shatha will travel to Germany and face one of her alleged rapists in the court of law as he stands trial for ISIS membership in his European home of origin, a representative for the Kurdish President’s Office told Fox News. She intends to testify against him.
On a bitter day in the dead of winter, as 2017 was drawing to a close, Shatha Salim Bashar, now 28, was rescued from ISIS sex slavery

On a bitter day in the dead of winter, as 2017 was drawing to a close, Shatha Salim Bashar, now 28, was rescued from ISIS sex slavery (Office of Kidnapped Affairs)

It has been more than five years since ISIS ravaged the villages of Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain – slaughtering thousands of Yazidi boys and men and abducting thousands of girls and women into their ranks of sex slavery.

And Shatha wants to be a voice for the voiceless. She wants to remind the world not to forget their fractured community who are left languishing with little in the way of help.

According to statistics issued to Fox News from the Office of Kidnapped Affairs – established in 2014 by the now President of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, to rescue kidnapped Yazidis – 550,000 Yazidis remain in war-ravaged Iraq. Some 360,000 of them are still in displacement.

At least 1,293 Yazidis were killed on August 3 and over the following few days at the beginning of the ISIS invasion. A total of 6,417 Yazidi were kidnapped at that time – 3,548 females and 2,869 males. Some 3509 Yazidis are documented as having survived the ordeal: 1192 women, 337 men, 1033 girls, and 947 boys. Chillingly, 2,908 Yazidis are deemed still missing – 1323 females and 1585 males.

The number of orphans produced by the invasion stands at 2,745 and the number of Yazidis who have emigrated out of Iraq, their ancestral homeland, is documented to be more than 100,000.

Moreover, 80 mass graves have been discovered in the Sinjar region, and the Islamic terrorist outfit blitzed 68 of their religious temples throughout the four-year war.

While the Office of Kidnapped Affairs rescued Shatha, along with her mother and sister, her brothers – who were just 8 and 3, remain unaccounted for. The last she saw of the small boys, they were carted off to ISIS training camps.

“We need help to rescue the rest of the people that are still missing,” Shatha said.

The Office of Kidnapped Affairs made its most recent rescue last week – two Yazidi girls were brought back from the rebel-stronghold of Idlib, Syria. Since the “Caliphate” formally crumbled earlier this year, the Office has spread its resources into locating the lost girls and boys across Syria and Turkey. Many of them are believed to be disguised as Muslim wives; still entangled in their terrorist purgatory.

Shatha’s brothers are two of thousands of Yazidi boys yanked into the ISIS lair of forced conversion, indoctrination, and violence.

“Yazidi boys who are forced into Cubs of the Caliphate training often are the amongst the most courageous fighters and volunteer for suicide missions, believing they will go to the ‘The Paradise,'” said Anne Speckhard, director of the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University. “These boys were separated from their older male relatives by ISIS who shot them dead and from their mothers and sisters. Of course, they would opt for any escape offered to them – a palatable escape from overwhelming psychic pain and unbearable traumatic grief.”

Subsequently, Hussein al-Qaedi, the Yazidi Director of the Office for Kidnapped Affairs, is calling for permission from the central government to conduct DNA testing inside the detainment facilities where foreign ISIS fighters and their families are held.

“We believe Yazidis are among them. If countries take back foreign fighters, they might take Yazidi kids with them,” he stressed. “And then they will be disappeared forever.”
Hussein al-Qaedi, the Yazidi Director of the Office for Kidnapped Affairs, is calling for permission from the central government to conduct DNA testing inside the detainment facilities where foreign ISIS fighters and their families are held.

Hussein al-Qaedi, the Yazidi Director of the Office for Kidnapped Affairs, is calling for permission from the central government to conduct DNA testing inside the detainment facilities where foreign ISIS fighters and their families are held. (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

The tight-knit Yazidi faith, which prohibits interfaith marriage and conversion into the religion, is also grappling with integrating babies conceived-out-of-rape to ISIS fathers. Community leaders have called for the infants to be embraced, but the notion is a strange and unsettling one for the ethnicity who have long lived reserved lives dotted across quiet farmlands.

It’s unclear exactly how many babies have been born from the tragedy, but official estimates hover between 100-200. While Yazidi’s religious authorities have announced that they will subvert their ancient traditions and accept the babies as Yazidis, the matter is further complicated by Baghdad’s law that children must take the paternal religion.

It’s a decree many hope will be formally changed.

As it stands now, most Yazidis live in tattered tents in displacement camps, and in ravished and abandoned dwellings across the Nineveh Plains. Funds are fast falling, and the despair is searing.

“Infrastructure is disintegrating. Public washrooms need to be renovated. There is an ongoing lack of electricity and water in the camp and in local areas. Some Yazidis are still struggling for food,” Lisa Miara, Founder of Springs of Hope Foundation Inc., lamented. “Some women suffer from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome and (want to) return to their captors. There are still women being held as ISIS wives.”

Speckhard also noted that the trauma for some Yazidi women runs so deep that they are known to “re-enact their rape,” which she referred to as “pseudo-seizures.”

“The young girl woke up out of it tearful and disorientated,” Speckhard said of one case. “Her sisters say it is the reason they avoid talking about ISIS and their rape experiences, to avoid triggering one of these seizures and that it happens multiple times a day to their sister.”

In this March 15, 2019 file photo, Iraqi Yazidi women mourn during the exhumation process of a mass grave in Iraq's northwestern region of Sinjar. (AP)

Shatha and her family are among the tens of thousands left languishing in a displacement camp on the outskirts of the Kurdish city of Duhok. They have little in the way of help when it comes to gluing together what is left of their lives, but she said her camp – called Rwanga – at least has prefabricated caravans.

Many other camps are stuffed with tethered tents from 2014, and she wants to see that small but pivotal improvement.

“Yazidis need not only boxes of food; we need a guarantee that we can survive. We can’t spend our whole lives in camps. We want to go home. But we cannot go home without security,” Shatha underscored. “There is still a lot of armed conflict and illegal groups there. If we can feel safe, we can start rebuilding our areas.”

Safety, for now, feels something of an illusion. The black flags of ISIS still wave in the shadows.

“Insurgent-style attacks by ISIS still happen regularly, with some of those attacks targeted specifically at Yazidis. The Yazidi community knows these realities,” said Ian Bradbury, CEO of 1st NAEF, a non-profit focused on humanitarian aid and assisting victims of all gender-based violence. “After 5 years, there is little hope of a return to any semblance of their former lives living off the mountain and the valley lands around Sinjar.”

https://www.foxnews.com/world/yazidi-se ... st-germany
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:45 am

Religious freedom around
the world is worsening


In August, Iraq’s ethnoreligious Yazidi minority marked the five years since ISIS militants overran northwestern Iraq and murdered at least 5,000 Yazidi men and boys who refused to convert to Islam and enslaved more than 7,000 women and girls who were sold off as brides and sex slaves

An indigenous ethnic group in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, the Yazidis are mainly Kurdish-speaking followers of a monotheistic religion that can be traced back to the beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia. Following the rise of ISIS, the Yazidis became the first victims of genocide by the Islamic State.

“The Yazidis are better off moving to other countries because Iraq is not safe,” a young Yazidi woman who was kidnapped, raped, and sexually abused by ISIS said after the terrorist group swept across northern Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014.

The unnamed young woman now lives in Germany where she was given asylum and where regularly visits therapists who help her overcome the trauma of her ordeal. She said that she has no desire to return home to Iraq because the threats to Yazidis, even after ISIS’ current battlefield defeat, remain high and that her community remains susceptible to discrimination and attacks.

Suicide rates are high among Iraq’s Yazidi teenagers, many of whom are young women who survived the horror of being ISIS’ captives. They continuously battle post-traumatic stress disorders and severe depression. While being held captive by ISIS militants, the victims were routinely raped, tortured, sold, called infidels, and beaten while being forced to memorise passages of the Koran.

Sam Brownback, the US envoy for religious freedom, said that, sadly, ISIS’ abuses against the Yazidis are not the only example https://www.neweurope.eu/article/expert ... rsening/of faith-based persecution.

He added that although the world paid a great deal of lip service to put an end to future cases of genocide and ethnic cleansing, particularly in cases where the perpetrators targeted an ethnoreligious group, the systematic killing and deportation of Myanmar’s Rohingya, a Muslim minority, continues to this day.

Brownback also noted that the forced detention of more than 1 million the Uyghurs – a Turkic-speaking Muslim people, native to China’s Xinjiang Province – into reeducation camps by the Chinese Communist Party and the massacre of Jews at a synagogue in Pennsylvania, in which 11 worshippers died, is further proof that violence against religious communities around the world is on the rise.

“We’re working with like-minded countries to push the topic of religious freedom to the forefront, globally, so that we can start getting the trend line going the other way,” Brownback said while adding that tackling religious persecution is very difficult.

Experts warn that political leaders should foster a culture of tolerance, promote exchanges between different religious groups, and prosecute anyone who promotes violence against minorities.

The plight of the Yazidis, Uyghurs, Rohingyas, and others is expected to be on the agenda of the upcoming annual UN General Assembly in New York, where the world’s leaders will discuss security threats. Whether any decisions can be reached that would bring about a halt to violence against religious communities is, however, unlikely.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/expert ... worsening/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:22 pm

Hade S Shingaly on Sinjar Mountain

LIFE ON SHINGAL MOUNTAIN

It has not changed in 5 years.

We are asking Do you know or can you imagine how hard life is here in the summer months, when it is so hot.

We do not have the luxury of air conditioning.

And now it will soon be winter again. And again not having enough fuel to keep our babies and families warm.

It is a hard life. Can you imagine?

Thank you to my friends and family that are here helping to get out tents ready for the winter months.

#STANDWITHYEZIDIS
#SAVETHEYEZIDIS.
#Sardashte_camp.


    HEARTBREAKING

Many countries joined the coalition, spending BILLIONS on planes, bombs, missiles and assorted other arms, attacking and destroying innocent people, homes, businesses and land while ridding areas from the clutches of ISIS have FAILED to:

    remove non-Yazidis groups from Yazidi land
    secure Sinjar and surrounding areas from further attack
    help to rebuild the areas which they helped to destroy
    provide for even the basic needs of human existence such as
      dry housing, heat, food, medical services, education
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Lawyers seek testimony for US
woman charged with aiding ISIS


Attorneys for an Indiana woman accused of providing support to the Islamic State group received a judge’s approval to seek depositions from three Yazidis who were taken as slaves by her husband, who she says died while fighting for ISIS

A federal judge in Hammond gave Samantha Elhassani’s lawyers permission Tuesday to seek depositions from the two Yazidi women and a young Yazidi boy in hopes of bolstering her defence, the Post-Tribune reported. One of the women and the boy are in the Kurdish-controlled city of Erbil, Iraq, and the other woman lives nearby.

Elhassani has argued that her husband tricked her into travelling to Syria and allegedly bought the two women and the boy while in ISIS-controlled territory.

In court documents, her lawyers say that Elhassani offered the Yazidis protection while her husband was alive and after he died, when she, her four children and the Yazidis made their way to a Kurdish refugee camp. Although she wasn’t able to prevent her husband from raping the women or to stop IS from using the boy in propaganda videos, she tried to help them and “all of this conduct by (Elhassani) was done at the risk of certain execution,” they wrote.

Defence attorney Thomas Durkin said the potential depositions would be “incredibly helpful” in determining whether the former Elkhart woman “ever intended to give material support to ISIS,” a charge to which she has pleaded not guilty. Both he and fellow defence attorney Joshua Herman noted there are several obstacles that could hinder getting the depositions and using them at Elhassani’s trial, which is scheduled to start in January.

While “at least the two Yazidi women witnesses have indicated that they would be willing to be deposed,” the Yazidis are “stateless” and “beyond the subpoena power” to appear in U.S. court, according to the defence motion.

Additionally, defence attorneys would need to get consent from the sovereignty that rules the region in order to go there and take depositions.

“But I don’t for the life of me know the (sovereign) status of Kurdish-controlled Iraq,” Durkin said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Abizer Zanzi said that since the U.S. lacks a treaty for court depositions with Iraq, the task that Elhassani’s attorneys aim to achieve becomes a “diplomatic function” that would have to go through the U.S. Department of State — a potentially long process that provides no assurance of success.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/09/15 ... aiding-is/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:38 pm

Are The Abducted By Daesh
Yazidi Women And Girls In Iran?


The world will remember the atrocities perpetrated by Daesh fighters against religious minorities in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and in the years that followed

Those atrocities include murder, enslavement, deportation and forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, abduction of women and children, exploitation, abuse, rape, sexual violence and forced marriage.

The atrocities committed by Daesh are now recognized as crimes against humanity, war crimes and even genocide, the crime of crimes. The world will remember the particular wickedness of the atrocities. Video footage of beheadings, of kidnapped victims thrown from high buildings or burnt alive. These graphic images will be difficult to forget.

Haifa, a 36-year-old woman from Iraq's Yazidi community who was enslaved by Daesh stands on a street during an interview with AFP journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on November 17, 2016. Haifa and her family were among thousands of members of the Yazidi minority shown no mercy by Daesh when it swept through areas north and west of the Iraqi capital in 2014. Men were gunned down and thousands of women -- including Haifa and her younger sister -- were abducted.

However, the world remembers much less about the fact that many of the women and girls abducted by Daesh, back in August 2014 from northern Iraq, are still missing. This is despite several calls from advocates, including Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of the Daesh genocide and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Nadia Murad called upon the world’s leaders to ensure the safe return of the abducted and enslaved women and girls.

Five years later, over 3,000 women and girls abducted by Daesh fighters are still missing

Little, if any, progress has been made to locate and liberate them. This is especially surprising as Daesh has lost its “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. Nonetheless, the abducted women and girls were nowhere to be found. Many families have lost hope of seeing the women and girls alive. However, at the end of August 2019, a new report suggests that the women and girls may be alive, although their suffering continues.

According to an Arabic media outlet, some of the abducted Yazidi women and girls are currently in Iran, and have been offered for sale. According to their claims, two girls, Sabaya and Jariyat who were abducted by Daesh fighters, were moved to Syria and now ultimately transferred from Syria to Iran, allegedly by Iranian soldiers.

According to the media outlet, the asking price for the release of the two girls is $40.000. The Clarion project states, “Iranian officials will only release the children after they have been identified – and for a price.”

The involvement of the Iranian government or its agents is yet to be verified. As a result of the concerning news from Iran, a British Parliamentarian, Lord Alton of Liverpool, called upon the U.K. Government to investigate the situation and engage in a dialogue with the Iranian government to clarify the issue and to ensure the safe return of the Yazidi girls, if they have indeed been trafficked to Iran.

Other states should follow suit and engage the Iranian government in seeking the truth about the whereabouts of the Yazidi women and girls. We should be asking for the girls to be reunited with their families.

If the two girls in Iran are the abducted Yazidi women and girls, it may be plausible to consider that more of the abducted Yazidi women and girls may be in Iran or other neighboring countries, transferred when Daesh started to lose its caliphate. Hence, this is also an appeal to all, to be vigilant.

We cannot become complicit in the enslavement of the abducted by Daesh women and girls. We need to speak up for them until they are free to speak up for themselves. As the search for the women and girls continues, no stone should be left unturned.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaoch ... 5b8558485e
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:44 pm

ISIS legacy in Iraq has a bad
effect on Yazidi survivors


Two years ago, the Islamic State was defeated in Iraq. Whether it was the US-led strikes or Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani’s support to Iraqi forces that played a key role in defeating the militant group, it still poses a threat to Iraq’s stability

A report written by Glenn A. Fine, principal deputy inspector general for Operation Inherent Resolve, stated that US President Donald Trump’s choice to withdraw troops from Syria and pay little attention to diplomacy in Iraq triggered the “resurgence” and “regrouping” of Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq.

The report said approximately 14,000-18,000 troops are active within ISIS. That number suggests the remaining troops are to be considered responsible for recent attacks, killings and agricultural burning in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the world.

The potential comeback of ISIS raises fears, especially considering that trying to claim justice from a brutal terrorist organisation like ISIS is difficult.

In 2016, Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi once held captive by ISIS, gave a powerful and heartfelt speech to the United Nations. Speaking with a bold yet fragile tone, Murad said she wanted to “look the men who raped me in the eye and see them brought to justice.”

However, what really touched the audience was Murad’s wish that she wanted to be “the last girl in the world with a story like mine.”

Natasha Ezrow, director of the International Development Studies Programme at the University of Essex, said: “Bringing members of terrorist organisations to justice is incredibly challenging, especially when dealing with international law and a state in transition.”

To overcome this difficulty, there must be “more momentum behind trying to create more precedence and unity among international courts to punish groups and individuals,” Ezrow said in a telephone interview.

However, how does one create momentum, particularly when the target is a non-state actor?

Ezrow said: “In the past, it has not been very easy punishing non-state actors. They simply do not abide to the rules.”

Examples of non-state actors that have been difficult to punish include al-Qaeda, the Tamil Tigers, the Shining Path and Abu Sayyaf.

Ezrow stressed that “unless members of a terrorist group have been captured and they eventually try to attribute something to an individual involved, there has not been a clear template of how to punish the perpetrator of terrorism. Usually, they die.

“For example, key members who are dictating what to do are killed off. You then have underlings who are possibly members of the group or victims that have been recruited in. From this point on, it’s difficult to determine who did what. Overall, there is a lot of secrecy and denial. It’s not very straightforward.”

These circumstances are worrying, particularly for the religious minorities that were targeted by ISIS. Such minorities include Iraqi Christians and Yazidis, with women and children being the most vulnerable to kidnappings, torture, rape and being sold as sex slaves.

The potential resurgence of ISIS in areas such as Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian city, and Sinjar, a Yazidi town in Iraq directly south of Mount Sinjar, will heighten fears among inhabitants and exacerbate the mental and physical issues that the minorities -- particularly rape survivors -- suffer with.

A statement by an Iraqi aid worker named Yousef said an average of 1-2 Yazidi women committed suicide each day in 2015

“These women are dealing with trauma, self-blame and cultural shame. All three components combined is a lot for these women to deal with. Being treated like cattle is going to have a negative and lifelong effect on these women,” Ezrow said.

Ezrow said suicide is still common. “The women either had enough of the daily tortures committed by ISIS or were fearful of the cultural retributions that followed after being raped,” she said.

Yazidi women having to give up children fathered by ISIS fighters touches on the cultural retribution. Until recently, Yazidi women have been torn between choosing to keep their children and reconciling with their faith and families and community members who may consider the children to be Muslims and therefore not part of the Yazidi faith or community.

Given the circumstances, one must question whether the child deserves to be with his or her mother but also face the risk of neglect or be put up for adoption and a chance at a new life.

https://thearabweekly.com/isis-legacy-i ... -survivors
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:54 am

Regional, international actors
making matters worse in Sinja
r


A statement by the local leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Mahma Khalil, regarding the need to expel the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from Sinjar sparked a debate among the various political parties and between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on the other about the nature of the conflict over the predominantly Yazidi city.A statement by the local leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Mahma Khalil, regarding the need to expel the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from Sinjar sparked a debate among the various political parties

Khalil’s statement also raised questions about the repercussions of Turkish-Iranian-US conflict in an area close to Iraq's borders with Turkey and Syria.

On Aug. 18, Khalil said he had submitted a request to the US Embassy in Baghdad to help expel the PKK from Sinjar and have the displaced return to the city. “The official local administration in Sinjar has called on the Iraqi government, the Kurdistan Region and Washington to establish a buffer zone in Sinjar to contain the PKK,” the statement said.

Khalil said his request would be sent to both Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's office and the KRG and that the US Embassy is aware of this.

Sinjar is in Ninevah province, which the central government does not consider to be part of the KRG. Following the KRG's 2017 independence referendum, the central Iraqi government took over many areas that had been disputed between the KRG and the central government.

Khalil, who had been the district administrator of Sinjar, has been appointed Yazidi affairs adviser in the KRG parliament. However, he is still going to his office and acting as if he were still administrator, observers said.

In an Aug. 13 statement, Khalil said the city had turned into a safe haven for the PKK, which abducts people, seeks ransom for them and imposes arbitrary punishment on them before the very eyes of the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Yazidi sources in Sinjar denied the allegations, describing them as rumors and lies made up by political parties. They told Al-Monitor that the allegations were part of a political game.

Hafal Tirish Shankali, the head of communications in the Sinjar Protection Units, said the PKK announced its withdrawal from Sinjar after the end of its mission, which consisted of “officially and publicly rescuing the people and liberating the territory from the Islamic State [IS] in coordination with the Iraqi government. [The mission was completed] on April 1, 2018. Since then, there have been no PKK fighters in Sinjar.”

Saman Daoud, editor-in-chief of Ezidi 24, said accusations that the PKK is preventing the displaced from returning to Sinjar illustrate the political hostility between the PKK and the KDP.

The ISIS invasion brought new actors into the Iraqi arena and changed the balance of power in the region. PKK militants entered Sinjar on Aug. 10, 2014, to fight ISIS. Yazidi military groups belonging to the PKK entered Sinjar as well. After Sinjar was liberated from ISIS, each military group took control of a part of the area.

Yazidi academic Majid Hassan said some Yazidi forces controlling large parts of Sinjar rejected Khalil.

The PKK is present in Sinjar through a military and political wing called the Sinjar Protection Units, which became an official force of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) after the PKK withdrew from Sinjar. The members of the Sinjar Protection Units are Iraqi Yazidis residing in the area, so it would be difficult to imagine their expulsion from their own geographic space. This is especially true as they have made sacrifices in the fight against ISIS, and this plays in their favor among Iraqis.

The Sinjar Protection Units denied any organizational ties with the PKK. But the group, in a written response to Al-Monitor, said the PKK is “a friend of the Yazidi people and is now an official force of the Iraqi state working in coordination with the military and security forces in the region. It joins all campaigns aimed at cleansing the area of ​​ISIS cells. It also takes charge of internal security.”

Having developed a political party that participated in the recent parliamentary elections, namely the Yazidi Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Sinjar Protection Units now constitute a political concern for rival Kurdish parties.

The Yazidi Party for Freedom and Democracy joined the Yazidi alliance along with three other Yazidi parties — the Yazidi Democratic Party, which is close to the KDP, and two Yazidi nationalist parties, the Yazidi Progress Party and the Yazidi Movement for Reform and Progress.

The coalition declaration document stipulated that a military force to protect the region would be formed and that Yazidi citizens would account for half of this force. Also, the document provided for participation in the upcoming local elections with a unified list.

Turkey opposes the presence of the PKK in Sinjar, as Ankara deems the PKK a threat to Turkey's national security. Ankara also fears the formation of a route linking the Qandil Mountains, the main fortress of the PKKy, to the Sinjar Mountains and then to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the second side of the Syrian border. This would constitute a corridor for the transfer of fighters, weapons and logistical support that go against Turkey's interests.

Economically, Turkey is seeking to open the new Fish Khabur crossing with Iraq, from which Turkish goods would then go through Tal Afar and Sinjar and then go to Mosul, Baghdad and southern Iraq. This would increase the volume of trade exchange between Iraq and Turkey and reduce dependence on Iran, a plan Tehran opposes.

Iran is seeking to use the PKK as a card to threaten Turkey's trade with Iraq. Tehran also does not want any party to rival its influence in the south, especially after the restoration of Iraq's relations with the Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan in the framework of Washington's efforts to increase the regional players and bring Iraq back to the Arab ranks while keeping it as far away from Iran as possible.

Amid this conflict, which has taken on regional dimensions, Turkey refuses to allow Sinjar to be turned into a base for the PKK, which Ankara classifies as a terrorist party. Meanwhile, Iran seeks to extend its influence through its allies in order to control the region bordering Syria.

Khalil’s message to the US Embassy reveals a Kurdish desire to let the United States join the competition over the disputed Yazidi area and restore the balance of power to the ruling KRG party.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... zidis.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:17 am

Facts:
    Various paramilitary groups in Sinjar
    they are doing nothing to protect Yazidis
      they groups need to be removed
      replaced by UN peace-keeping forces
    Coalition spent billions destroying land
    Paying nothing to rebuild Yazidi land
    Yazidis are too afraid to return home
    Tents have been burnt
    Farms have been destroyed

    Yazidis lack basics such as,
      secure dry accommodation
      medical services
      healthy food
      warm clothing
      enough heating
      clean drinking water
      enough toilets
      more showers
      better laundry facilities
      education
    All Yazidis have lost family and friends
    Often not certain if relations are dead or alive
    3,000 women and children still missing
Yazidis have lived in hell for 5 years
they need the opportunity to rebuild
their lives in a secure environment
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:42 pm

Are we supposed to clap our hands and jump for joy, that after 5 years of horror, Yazidis are receiving a SMALL mount of help

110 Small businesses
for Sinjar & Nineveh


A plan by Yazda to provide support for 110 small businesses is being funded by USAID and supported by IOM & HAI

As part of the USAID funded and IOM supported project, “Supporting the return of the displaced population in the Nineveh Plains and West Nineveh”, Yazda has opened 4 small business in Sinjar for survivors and victims of ISIS atrocities.

These businesses include, 1 food market in Gohbal village, 1 sewing shop and one food market in Sinuni town and one food market in Dogri town on the North Part of Sinjar Mountain. As a part of the same project and with the generous fund from USAID and essential support from IOM, Yazda is planing to open 86 more business in Sinjar and Ninewa plain within a year from now.

Similarly and as a part of the USAID funded and Heartland Alliance International(HAI) supported project ‘’Safe Return Project to support victims of severe human rights violations in Nineveh’’ Yazda opened 10 small business since last August and 10 more businesses will be opened by the end of September.

These business include:

    1- Small Market. Location: Sinjar City- Al Nasser District. Name Of Business: Mam Badal Market.

    2- Small Shop For Housewares, Kitchen and cleaning Items. Location: Sinjar City- Alshohadaa District-Sinjar City.

    3- Clothes And Accessories. Location: Sinjar City- Alshohadaa District. Name Of Business: Istanbul For Clothes.

    4- Small Food Market. Location: Sinjar City- Al Yarmook District. Name Of Business: Shingal Market.

    5- Shoes Shop. Location: Zorava. Name Of Business: Waleed Shop For Shoes.

    6- Clothes And Accessories. Location: Sinjar City- Alshohadaa District. Name Of Business: Al Shaam For Clothes and Accessories.

    7- Gas Cylinders Shop. Location: Hardan. Name Of Business: Hardan For Gas Cylinder.

    8- Clothes Shop (Men, Sports, Kids). Location: Sinjar City- Al Yarmook District. Name Of Business: Samar For Clothes

    9- Blacksmith. Location: Hardan. Name Of Business: Hardan Blacksmith.

    10- Small Market. Location: Siinjar City- Alyarmook District. Name Of Business: Daham Market

Link to Article - Videos:

https://www.yazda.org/post/110-small-bu ... by-iom-hai
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:21 am

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