On Monday 16 August Turkish air strikes hit a vehicle in the old market area of the Yazidi city of Sinjar, in northern Iraq, killing Seid Hesen, a commander of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and İsa Xwededa, his nephew and a YBS fighter and wounding three people.
The next day, Tuesday 17 August, a village medical centre, which has also been serving as a hospital for covid patients in Sinjar was the target of multiple Turkish air strikes. The Sinjar Democratic Autonomous Council announced that eight people were killed as a result of the missile attack.
On Wednesday 18 August, Kurdish politicians of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and activists of the Free Women’s Movement (TJA) issued a joint press statement on Turkey’s missile attacks in Sinjar, MA reported.
Feleknas Uca, HDP’s Yazidi MP for Batman (Elif) said that hatred against the Yazidis underlies the aggressive orientation towards Sinjar:
“What lies behind this attack is the hatred against the Yazidis, hatred against Mount Sinjar. They want to evacuate Sinjar. Turkey now wants to achieve what ISIS could not achieve with its own forces.”
Feleknas Uca called upon international human rights defenders to advocate for the autonomy demands of the Yazidi community in Sinjar:
“We need to be one voice against these attacks and advocate all together for autonomy calls for Sinjar. It is time to own the autonomy of Sinjar.”
“There were 74 farmans [massacres against Yazidis] in the history of Sinjar. The 74th farman was committed by ISIS. Many Yazidis were killed, Yazidi women were sold as a slaves and Sinjar has been a subject of great brutality by ISIS. Today Yazidis face similar persecution by Turkey,” said Berdan Öztürk, co-chair of DTK.
Öztürk strongly condemned the attacks on civilian sites, saying “Bombing hospital and civilian sites are a product of an ISIS mindset. Those who bombed these places share the same mentality as ISIS.”
Saliha Aydeniz, co-chair of DBP drew attention to the pro-longed suffering of the Yazidis living in Sinjar, who have been living in an environment of a bloody conflict for the last seven years.
“As a matter of fact, with the Turkish state’s policy of hatred towards the Kurds these attacks are launched by the hands of the Turkish armed forces to complete the massacres that were left undone by ISIS.”