Tensions have risen in Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan as reports have suggested that there has been a mobilisation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Iraqi army military forces in Sinjar as of early this morning.
People of Sinjar have taken to the streets in protest and resistance against the KDP’s attempt to enter Sinjar with their armed forces, using the forthcoming Iraqi elections as an excuse, Roj News reports.
On the roads leading to Sinjar, locals state that many soldiers of the KDP and the Iraqi army have been deployed. As the people of Sinjar also gathered especially on the road from Rabia to Sinunê and in Borik, it has been reported that the KDP forces are mostly mobilised around the Sherifedîn Cemetery.
People of Sinjar have continued to wait at public security checkpoints, public assemblies and along the main streets. Some groups, mostly composed of women, have also started a sit-in protest on the main roads, refusing to allow military vehicles to enter.
Yesterday, Sinjar’s Autonomous Administration issued a press release calling upon people to resist in the face of a possible attempt by the KDP to enter Sinjar with its army.
“It is a provocation,” the Autonomous Administration said and it warned the KDP: “As the Sinjar Autonomous Administration, we consider this attempt of the KDP to be very dangerous. As is known, there are upcoming elections in Iraq: we have fulfilled our duties as the Autonomous Administration to enable democratic and free elections to take place.”
The statement continued:
“There is one week left before the elections: the KDP’s bringing its armed forces to Sinjar is a clear provocation. In this election, it turns out that the KDP candidates cannot win in general and also in Sinjar, and it seems that there are serious problems within their party.The KDP wants to hide and cover up this defeat with war, conflict, provocations. We announce that we will not accept the entry of the KDP’s armed forces into Sinjar. We’re going to resist them.”
According to a number of political commentators, the rising tensions in Sinjar are related to the Sinjar Agreement which was signed on 9 September 2020 regarding the future of Sinjar.
The agreement was signed between the Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan governments and includes the deployment of more than 8,000 soldiers to Sinjar as well as the removal of the Yazidi Asayish Centres (Yazidi public security forces), formed by the local residents.
The people of Sinjar have reacted to the agreement and held various protests against it for months. The deal is also widely criticised for Turkey being behind it (as several commentators have concluded). Many have expressed the view that the KDP is trying to realize the Sinjar Agreement with deploying its army to the region.