Yazidi Religious Authority: any attack on Mount Sinjar is nothing less than a new extermination

SINJAR, Iraq – On Wednesday, the Yazidi Religious Authority issued a statement to the public opinion in which it strongly condemned any potential attack on Mount in Sinjar (Shengal) and its Yazidi people. The statement was read by the head of one of the Yazidi clans Dakhil Murad in the shrine of Jabal Jal Mera on top of Mount Sinjar. In the statement the Yazidi religious representatives and clerics appealed to the world public opinion, all peace-loving people, and the people of Sinjar to stand firm with the Yazidis against any potential new attack and plans to seize Mount Sinjar. They declared their absolute rejection of the Iraqi army’s intervention in the affairs of Mount Sinjar.

The Yazidi religious representatives announced that they will neither surrender nor hand over Mount Sinjar to any party, whether the Iraqi army or other. Additionally, in the event that the central government insists on sending more Iraqi armed forces to Mount Sinjar, they will not lay down their weapons and will resist with all their available capabilities to protect Sinjar and its Yazidi residents. The statement called on all female and male Yazidi youth to carry arms and confront any attack on Mount Sinjar.

The Yazidi religious representatives consider the imminent plans for Mount Sinjar a new Yazidis extermination and the statement stressed that the Yazidi will voice their determination to all relevant national and international authorities, forums, NGOs, and the United Nations about the Iraqi government’s attempts to control Mount Sinjar, as Mount Sinjar is the safe haven and home of the Yazidi component.

The statement by the Yazidi Religious Authority comes against the background of a deal between the central government and the Kurdish Region in Iraq. In October 2020, they signed the Sinjar Agreement to resolve the disorganized administration of the “disputed” Sinjar area. Many Yazidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political parties and civic organizations complained that they were not heard or consulted in the agreement. The deal would foresee in the deployment of the Iraqi army to the area. The KDP-Peshmerga, Popular Mobilization Units, and the local Yazidi Şengal resistance Units (Yekîneyên Berxwedana Şengalê, YBŞ) would have to withdraw.

Subject matter expert and researcher Abdulla Hawez said on Twitter that the “Iraqi government has been trying for months to push the PMF and pro-PKK groups [YBŞ] to leave Sinjar,” with special focus on the YBŞ because of Turkish pressure. According to the Sinjar Agreement, only Iraqi army and police forces are to remain in Sinjar. The fact that there are still several hundred of KDP Yazidi Peshmerga on Mount Sinjar which should also have left, strengthens the idea that “nobody is really taking the agreement seriously!”

There is also opposition to the Sinjar Agreement by Iraqi Militia Leader Qais Khazali.

For the article in Arabic see SyriacPress Arabic