Multiple Turkish drone strikes on a medical centre in Sinjar, northern Iraq, have left at least three people dead, Agence France Press (AFP) reported .
The airstrikes have been carried out reportedly by Turkish military drones in the afternoon on 17 August, targeting a medical centre near the Sikêniyê village.
The deputy mayor of the district, Jalal Khalef Bisso told AFP that the medical centre was totally destroyed by the missile strikes.
As an operation to rescue the wounded from under the rubble continued throughout the night, a doctor in Sinjar said at least three people were killed and five others wounded.
A senior Iraqi army officer told AFP that the airstrikes were carried out by Turkey’s military, while another official said that it consisted of three drone strikes.
The airstrikes on the medical centre followed a previous targeted strike against the passengers of a vehicle near the Old Market in Sinjar just one day before, killing two of the passengers and wounding three others. One of the wounded, a Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) member had been transferred for treatment to the Sikêniyê medical facility according to reports. The YBS official has survived the raid.
As the people in Sikêniyê reacted to the airstrikes, a woman speaking to the Fırat News Agency protested saying the world was indifferent to their suffering.
“All countries turned their blind eyes on us,” she said. “There is a farman on all Yazidi people. Yesterday, we dug graves for our children. The market was consumed by flames. They attacked our homes. Wat is it that we want? We are a people who has suffered. We want to have our rights.”
Another woman also protested, saying Masoud Barzani, the Iraqi government and Turkey were all responsible for the attacks:
“ll the world must know that the policies in operation here are the same old, well known ones. The Iraqi government, Erdoğan and Masoud Barzani are responsible for this. They attacked a car with drones. It is our car. It’s a car of the town. Their target is the Yazidi people; the same people who survived a farman.”
Sinjar, the home of the Yazidi people, was attacked by the Islamic State on August 2014, and thousands of Yazidis were killed, while thousands of Yazidi women and children were abducted to be later sold in slave markets. As tens of thousands of Yazidis fled the massacre, taking refuge in Mount Sinjar. This was followed by the formation of armed Yazidi groups for self-defence of the Yazidis which gave birth to the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and Yazidi Women’s Units (YJE). About a year after the defeat of ISIS, Turkish airstrikes began in 2017 to target Sinjar which is 150km to the south of the Turkish border.
Seid Hesen and Isa Xwededa, who have been killed in the strike on 17 August were, respectively, a commander and fighter of YBS. Seid Hesen was particularly known for his work in organising the Yazidi defence against the genocidal attacks of ISIS.