As the Iraqi army continues construction work on a wall on the border between West Kurdistan (Rojava) and Sinjar (Shengal), pressure continues to be brought to bear on the locals. Roj news reports that the Iraqi army has raided several houses in the villages of Sinjar, threatening villagers and warning them not to take part in protests against the border wall.
The Iraqi army’s 18th Iraqi Border Guard Brigade has been building a 250-kilometre wall between northeast Syria and Sinjar. The wall is estimated to be three metres high and 75 centimetres wide. The 18th Brigade is reportedly affiliated to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Construction on the wall, which is being built on the pretext of protecting the border, has begun between Sinjar and Rojava, to separate the two regions.
On 13 March, Arabs and Yazidis marched together in protest at the Kadhimi government’s attempt to build the wall. After the march, the Iraqi government began to increase pressure on Arabs in the region.
In the days following the march, the Iraqi army’s 18th Iraqi Border Guard Brigade forces raided many houses in several villages in the district of Sinuni, about 3 km from the border between Rojava and Sinjar.
Local sources stated that Kadhimi’s forces threatened villagers during house raids, warning them not to speak to the press or to talk about the house raids.
The Iraqi army has threatened Arab villagers telling them not to take part in protests against the construction of the wall. Iraq’s National Security Service is also said to have called residents in the area urging them not to take part.