After the Sinjar Agreement was signed between the Iraq Government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region on the 9 October 2020, pressures against the Yazidi people have increased in Sinjar since the residents of the region have opposed the agreement which was signed against their will.
On 20 April, Iraqi forces tried to enter the village of Gir Zerik in Sinjar but were faced with the resistance of residents and in response to that, the Iraq army retreated.
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Batman (Êlih) MP Feleknas Uca presented her perspectives to Jin News about the latest developments in Sinjar and the resistance that is taking place in the region.
Uca drew attention to the siege of Sinjar in August 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Daesh). “Those days were among the darkest days in world history. At that time, women were sold in markets. Thousands of Yazidi women were captured by ISIS”.
Uca stated that the people who survived those massacres built their political and administrative system in Sinjar. “They built a new life for themselves. They have established their assemblies, defence forces. They started a new life: hopes re-emerged. Women who survived ISIS formed a new force by joining defence units”.
“All powers should respect that they have built their own system”, she said and she criticized the Sinjar Agreement in this respect. “Nobody asked the people of Sinjar about the deal”, she said.
“Some part of Sinjar is located in the territory of Federated Kurdistan and another part is in the territory of Iraq. The point we do not understand is that a deal was made, but why were the people of Sinjar were not included in this deal? Just as the territorial integrity of Kurdistan was broken with the Treaty of Lausanne, the aim is to divide Sinjar lands through this deal”.
“We do not sufficiently question why the Iraqi administration is going to Sinjar”, stated Uca, adding: “We know the Iraqi administration supported the Sinjar Autonomous Administration. So why do they want to enter Sinjar with this treaty right now? Because the Baghdad government wants to establish its authority there”.
Uca also drew attention to the strategic importance of the Gir Zerik village which the Iraqi army tried to enter but had to retreat after the resistance of the locals. “Gir Zerik is a village between Arabs and Kurdish people. Iraq chose that village since the Sinjar Administration is not as powerful there as in the other villages of Sinjar”. She added: “Since they face the resistance of people in other villages, they chose this village to enter the territories of Sinjar”.
Uca emphasized that the defence units established in Sinjar can defend their lands better than any other foreign forces. “People support their defence units, they respect them”, she said. She also stated that the people who are leading the resistance in Gir Zerik village are women and mothers.
“The Yazidî people are one of the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia. If the Yazidi people are massacred, the Kurdish people will also be massacred. Therefore, it is necessary to see these games being played out in Sinjar. Our mothers and Yazidi women are now leading the resistance in the village of Gir Zerik. One should see that and grasp the message of these women”.
Uca emphasized the role of Turkey in the attacks against Sinjar. “It should be known that Turkey also has a hand in these attacks. Since 3 August 2014, Turkey has bombed the territory of Sinjar six times. I voiced these concerns about the attacks in Turkey’s parliament in December 2020: we know that these decisions are political. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) Group Deputy Chairperson admitted it during an assembly meeting by saying: ‘Whatever you do, we will enter Sinjar’. Sinjar is always on Turkey’s agenda”.
Uca claimed that among the Iraqi soldiers who were trying to enter Gir Zerik, some of them were Turkish soldiers in Iraqi military uniforms. She also brought it to the agenda of the parliament. “This proves that those attacks are happening with the will of Turkey”, she said.
At the end of her interview, Uca drew attention to the predictions of Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan regarding Sinjar: “In 2007, through a message Mr. Öcalan sent by his lawyers, he warned about the games of the hegemonic powers regarding Yazidi people and Sinjar. Today, we see that what Mr. Öcalan said has come to pass. If the warnings of 2007 had been listened to and Yazidi people had established their defence, maybe the massacres in 2014 would have been prevented. This proves that Yazidi people should have their defence units”.