NewsWorldIraq: thousands of Yazidis forced to reconnect with the...

Iraq: thousands of Yazidis forced to reconnect with the life of displaced people


Published on: 05/13/2022 – 15:53 ​​Intense fighting between the Iraqi army and Yazidi fighters affiliated with the Kurdish rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on May 1 and 2 in the Sinjar region ( northwest Iraq). Thousands of Yazidis have thus been forced to leave their villages once again, after fleeing the Islamic State group for the first time in 2014. Our Observer tells how he fled his home in the midst of fighting and returned to a precarious life in displacement camps. The Iraqi army wishes to apply an agreement concluded between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan providing for the withdrawal of Yazidi fighters and PKK fighters from the Sinjar region. But the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), a faction of Yazidi fighters created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group, do not want to withdraw and accuse Baghdad of wanting to take control of their region. he Iraqi army finally launched an offensive to dislodge the Yazidi fighters, some of whom had taken up positions in civilian areas, villages near Mount Sinjar. After the offensive of the Iraqi army, the Yazidis flee their villages in Sinjar again. © France 24 “We left through the back door, bullets were whistling everywhere”The Yazidis are a Kurdophone minority in Iraq from the Sinjar region, followers of a monotheistic religion drawing part of their beliefs from Zoroastrianism , the religion of ancient Persia. Persecuted in 2014 by the Islamic State (IS) group, they had to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan where they were installed in makeshift camps. Today, they are reliving the same nightmare, says our Observer, Tahsin (pseudonym), who was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by gunfire in the village of Sinuni. I have been living in the Qadiya camp in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2014, but I regularly travel to Sinuni, my village, because I am in the process of building a new house there. I was in ٍSinuni when the fighting started shortly after midnight. I heard shots coming from the western entrance to the village. There seemed to be heavy machine gun fire [DShK, NDLR]. Firing stopped for a few hours, but resumed around eight o’clock in the morning. I called a friend who lives at the eastern end of the village, he told me that there were shootings in his area as well. 🔻تحديث استمرار المواجهات بين قوات الجيش العراقي وعناصر اليبشة في سنوني التابع لقضاء سنجار غربي الموصل.— موقع Now Lebanon 🇱🇧 (@NowLebanon3) May 2, 2022 Video showing the fighting in Sinuni, May 2 Around 11 a.m., I heard powerful explosions. I called a friend, and he told me that the school in Hattin, a nearby village, had been bombed by the Iraqi army who suspected that fighters from the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) had been there. entrenched. Thanks to a lull, the inhabitants began to flee the village, by car and on foot, towards the north, towards Iraqi Kurdistan. Then around 1 p.m., the fighting resumed. The Iraqi soldiers were deployed at the western entrance to Sinuni, in the Tobal district. The house where I was staying at that time, with my uncle and his children, was a few tens of meters from where the army shots came from. So we left through the back door and headed for a house under construction which was about fifty meters away to take refuge there. Bullets whistled everywhere. There was also heavy machine gun fire [la DShK est une mitrailleuse lourde soviétique anti-aérienne, NDLR]. And there were Iraqi army tanks circulating in the streets. 🔴 بالفيديديوقوات الجيش العراقي يسيطرون على ناحية الشمال التي تضم منطقتي سنوني ومجden— توثية الشيعة (@Tuthiatalshiyea) May 2, 2022 Video showing an Iraqi army tank in Sinuni on May 2. “People were piling up, sometimes twenty in one car. “We took advantage of a moment of calm to run towards our car. We headed south to Mount Sinjar. But when we arrived at the bottom of the mountain, we saw heavy machine guns at the top. We turned back and headed back towards the village, trying to circumvent the combat zone before joining the road leading to Iraqi Kurdistan. Video shot by a member of the Iraqi army after the capture of the village of Sinouni on May 2. Arriving in the village, there was a stampede: people tried to flee by all means, they piled up, sometimes twenty in a single car. We finally managed to reach the main road that leads to Iraqi Kurdistan. Along the way, there were Iraqi army checkpoints. They searched us to find out if we had any weapons. Some challenged us saying: “why don’t you fight with us?” Most Yazidis displaced in Iraq live in camps in the province of Dohuk, in the Kurdistan region, those of Chamishku, Kabarto 1 and 2, Kadiya. Created in 2014 and funded by the Kurdistan Regional Government and the international community, the camps provide basic services but the living conditions there are precarious. “We do not understand why the Iraqi army did not warn us” Some hours later, we finally arrived at Kadiya camp in Dohuk. Part of my family has been living in this camp since the displacement in August 2014. It is the only camp in the region where there are mobile homes, which are a little more comfortable than tents. Apart from the recurrent water cuts, the main problem of the camps is the fires which are too numerous. The tents are made of nylon and catch fire quickly. There are also many mobile home fires caused by short circuits, due to the dilapidated electrical installations. The fighting has stopped since May 2, but only the men have returned to their villages in Sinjar to inspect their homes. The women and children remained in the camps, for fear of a resumption of fighting which could happen at any time. Since May 3, young people have been organizing rallies, particularly in Sinuni, to demand the withdrawal of all armed forces from Yazidi villages, except the police. Yazidi clan leaders also went to meet Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi in Baghdad to bring him this message. But so far, we have received no response. We refuse to be held hostage to the fighting, regardless of the parties. Finally, we do not understand why the Iraqi army did not warn us before launching the offensive so that we could leave our villages in time. مظاهرة سلمية في ناحية سنونى بقضاء #سنجار للشباب والاهالي مطالبين بخروج جميع المظاهر المسلحة ونقل الصراعات بينهم خارج مناطق الايزيديين.#Sinjar— merdnelais (@Elezidi382014) May 6, 2022 Des Yazidis manifestent le 6 mai à Sinuni pour demand “an end to all armed presence” in their villages. The fighting left one dead and two wounded in the ranks of the Iraqi army, according to an Iraqi military source quoted by AFP. On the other hand, no assessment of the civilian losses was communicated. About 10,000 displaced people have been received in camps in recent days in Iraqi Kurdistan. Many of them have already known the precarious life of the camps. They had already fled their villages in Sinjar with the arrival of IS in 2014. According to our Observer, no arrangements have been made to receive them and many of them are being taken in by families and relatives in already overcrowded tents. . The Yazidis are also victims of sporadic air raids carried out by neighboring Turkey against PKK bases in Sinjar.


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