"There shouldn’t be other forces preventing the reconstruction, the activities of government institutions, and the movements of the Peshmerga forces while the [Kurdistan] Region’s official institutions and the Peshmerga forces are in Shingal [Sinjar] region… The Yazidis are indigenous Kurds, their religion and worship is in Kurdish. No person or party is entitled to impose other definitions on the Yazidis," Barzani said at the meeting with Yazidi leader Mir Tahsen Beg
Êzidîs to march from Germany to Brussels
Êzidîs living in Europe will march to Europe's capital Brussels in order to protest the attacks of the KDP and AKP on Shengal. Shengal Diaspora Assembly called for participation in the march that will go on for seven days.
The march of Êzidîs in Europe will begin in Dusseldorf, Germany on March 20 and end in the European Union's capital Brussels on March 27.
Shegal Êzidî Diaspora Assembly issued a written statement on the purpose of the week-long march and made the following demands from international powers:
“AKP-KDP gangs need to be removed from the Xanesor region in order to prevent the escalation of the crisis in Shengal. International coalition forces should inspect the weapons it gave to the KDP for the fight against ISIS, and these weapons should not be used against out people.
International powers should take an initiative to resolve this crisis and send independent committees to the region. A security perimeter should be set up to protect the faith and culture of Êzidî people.
The threats Êzidîs face are faced by all peoples living in Ninova region. Therefore, precautions should be taken for the security of Syriac, Assyrian, Kakai, Turkmen, Şia, Shebek and Arab people. The European Parliament's decision to recognize the autonomy of Shengal and Ninova on October 27, 2016 should be implemented and Shengal's status should be acknowledged.
Êzidîs' life spaces continue to be at risk. Therefore, Êzidîs require their self-defense forces. For this reason, YBŞ and YJŞ forces should be recognized as Shengal defense forces.”
The march of Êzidîs will begin in front of the local parliament building on Dusseldorf Platz des Landtags 1 at 10:00 and end in Brussels on March 27. A rally will take place after the meeting Êzidî representatives will have with EU officials in Brussels.
ISIS friends, YBŞ enemies?
The attacks by KDP and AKP gangs on March 3 and 14 have entered week 3. The tension still continues. This tension can break out in new clashes at any time. But these attacks and the tension have hidden an important reality, that of ISIS. But why?
WHO DID KDP AND AKP GANGS ATTACK AND WHY?
Many words have been written on how Shengal and dozens of its villages have been abandoned to ISIS. Those days have been relayed by the Shengalis many times. Witnesses have spoken of how many people were massacred in which village, the region and the world heard of this.
On August 3, 2014, ISIS entered Shengal center and thus completed the takeover of the whole of Shengal and its villages and districts. Hundreds of thousands of people fled ISIS cruelty to the Mount Shengal, and through the lifeline corridor opened there, to Rojava. Before that, more than 700 peshmerga under the command of Serbest Babir arrived in Rabia, under YPG control at the time. They went from Rabia to Tel Kocher, and then from the Semalka border gate to Zakho and Duhok.
During that time, Rudaw and other TV networks broadcasting in Southern Kurdistan, especially the pro-KDP ones, broadcast live the group of guerrillas crossing over to Shengal with a ceremony, in official vehicles. The months-long resistance resulted in over 300 thousand Êzidîs saved through the corridor dozens of guerrillas and YPG members lost their lives to keep open.
Young Êzidîs stood with the HPG guerrilla during the resistance and then organized the Shengal Defense Units. In time, the YBŞ comprised of these young people officially declared their founding and the Iraqi Central Government recognized this force officially, and accepted to pay their salaries.
HPG and YBŞ forces launched an operation to liberate Shengal. They first liberated districts and villages like Sinuni, Khanasor, Digura and Dahola and the are up to Bare in that region. Then, by the beginning of 2015, they launched an operation to liberate Shengal city center. They liberated Heye Nasır and Siti Zeynep neighborhoods in Shengal center and positioned themselves there.
The operation to liberate the city center lasted for some 11 months and on November 13, 2015, Shengal city center was completely cleared of ISIS gangs.
But dozens of villages, like Tel Keseb, Tel Benat, Tel Özer, Siba Şeyh Xıdır, Kocho, Rambüsiye, Sekeniye, Hayale and Tevra, are still under ISIS invasion. After Shengal was liberated, the KDP peshmerga positioned in an arc from Tel Banat to almost the Kızıl Kent village. To the Shengal side of the arc there were KDP peshmergas, and against them the ISIS gangs positioned themselves in the villages they invaded, and they are still there. There has been no attempt at liberating these villages. Not one attempt has been made against the ISIS gangs continuing their invasion. It’s almost like they are living in peace on opposite sides.
WHY DID THEY ATTACK THE YBŞ WHEN ISIS WAS RIGHT THERE?
Many villages like Siba Sheikh Xıdır, Tel Özer, Tel Keseb, Kocho, Tel Benat, Rambüsiye and Tevra are still under ISIS invasion. As a large portion of the sacred Shengal lands is still under ISIS invasion, and the KDP does nothing, them launching attacks on areas liberated by the HPG and the YBŞ has raised serious concerns and discussions. All are inadvertently thinking, do they see ISIS as friends and YBŞ as enemies? Because while many villages and districts are still under ISIS invasion, without any attempts to liberate those villages and towns, them attacking YBŞ and their headquarters will bring those questions to the minds of the people.
YBŞ CONSIST OF THE CHILDREN OF THE INVADED VILLAGES
YBŞ are forces comprised of the children of Shengal who resisted ISIS with whatever weapons they could get their hands on despite the KDP gathering their weapons as ISIS attacked Shengal on August 3. Most significant among them is the Sheikh Xeyri group from Siba Sheikh Hıdır village where they resist. Sheikh Xeyri spent great efforts in the YBŞ afterwards. He took part in the Military Council and lost his life in one of the clashes. Some 60% of the children of Shengal in the YBŞ are from villages still under ISIS invasion.
KDP and AKP gangs attacking not the ISIS-invaded villages but the YBŞ forces unavoidably brings up questions of whether the KDP is in cahoots with ISIS over the AKP. These questions being asked is completely normal. If the KDP wanted freedom for Shengal and the Êzidîs, they wouldn’t join forces with the AKP and attack YBŞ forces with groups turned into gangs, they would rather aim to liberate the ISIS-invaded villages. Not only did they not do that, but the KDP didn’t even think of supporting the operation YBŞ forces launched on November 13, 2016, on the anniversary of the city center’s liberation, to liberate Siba Sheikh Xidir, Tel Özer, Kocho, Sekeniye, Hayale and Tevra villages and avenge Êzidî women and girls. On the contrary, acting with the AKP, the KDP started to pressure the Iraqi Central Government to stop the operation. They issued threats that if the operation didn’t stop, Turkey would directly intervene and invade Shengal. After that, the Iraqi Central Government asked the YBŞ forces, who are officially under the Iraqi Central Government, to stop the operation.
KDP and Turkey didn’t stop there. They pressured the Iraqi Central Government to stop paying the salaries of YBŞ fighters. Iraqi Central Government authorities declared they received threats that unless the YBŞ command stops the operation they launched, Turkey would invade. For that reason, the operation ended after Sekeniye and Hayale villages were liberated. Also, due to pressure from AKP and KDP, the Central Iraqi Government stopped paying salaries for YBŞ fighters from November on.
When one puts all these together, this view unavoidably emerges, questioning whether they see ISIS as friends and YBŞ as enemies. It’s possible to ask more questions like this, but really, the meeting in Amman before the Shengal invasion, after which Serbest Babir’s peshmerga retreated from Shengal and gave ISIS the opportunity to easily invade the land and massacre the people is enough to answer them.
What is important now is the question why there are attacks against YBŞ forces while ISIS is still present, and why the children of Shengal are asked to leave Shengal. KDP authorities must develop sufficient and correct answers to these questions. Otherwise, just like AKP, they will continue to be counted among the forces in cooperation with ISIS.
Êzidî women in Berlin: The weapons given to KDP are used against us
Êzidî women joining a demonstration in the German capital Berlin are protesting the attacks on Shengal, denouncing that the weapons Germany gave to KDP are being used against Êzidî people.
Êzidîs in Germany have joined the chain of protests in Kurdistan and Europe against the KDP and AKP that continue the attack ISIS launched on Shengal in 2014.
Berlin Êzidî Women's Assembly launched a 5 day-long tent demonstration in front of the Federal Parliament in the German capital Berlin. Protestors will inform German parliamentarians and the society in the tent that will remain open until Friday.
Speaking at the tent demonstration, Êzidî women made the following call to the German state: "The weapons you gave to the KDP to fight against ISIS are being used against Êzidî people in Shengal. Gang groups affiliated with the KDP and AKP are attacking our people with these weapons. We want an end to this. Germany must see the situation in Shengal."
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