The exclusion of Yazidis in the 9 October Agreement, signed by the Baghdad and Erbil (Hewler) administrations, is the root cause of conflict in Iraq’s Sinjar (Shengal) region, the Sinjar Autonomous Administration said in a statement released on Monday regarding Iraqi troops’ most recent offensive on the region.
“The target of the Turkish state is not limited to Sinjar. The Turkish state wants to start a war in Iraq and to realise its neo-Ottoman dreams”, the administration said.
“We state once again that we want to solve our problems together and within a united Iraq. But at the same time, we want the Sinjar Autonomous Administration and the self-defence forces to be respected”, they continued.
The administration said Iraq’s attacks were a continuation of fermans against the Yazidi people, using the Yazidi term for massacres they have suffered throughout history.
The statement reads as follows:
“As everyone knows, Sinjar is experiencing an extraordinary situation once again. Everybody is looking at and trying to understand what is happening in Sinjar. Although the current disturbance is one which started on 18th of April and continues to date, the source of the current situation and the problems in Sinjar must be understood clearly. Because they want to renew the history of fermans.
The Yazidi society faced a ferman in 2014 in front of the whole world. The 2014 ferman was one of the harshest in our history. The Iraqi army turned away and left Sinjar. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), in great betrayal, was a partner in this ferman. The occupying Turkish state on the other hand wanted to wipe us out using the Islamic State. We as the Yazidi society were saved from this ferman thanks to the freedom guerrillas and the Rojava revolution. We started to build our autonomous administration so that our people will not face fermans again.
All institutions of the autonomous administration were built in this period, at great cost. Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ), Shengal Women’s Units (YJŞ) and security forces Ezidxan Asayish have taken responsibility as fighters for the Yazidi faith, and many have died for their people. Yazidi society was not saved from this ferman easily, getting to this day was not easy. Eight years have passed since then. We have protected the Iraqi state in these past eight years. We defended Sinjar, as we did the unity of Iraq.
Within the last eight years we instigated many projects and held lots of meetings to define the status of Sinjar. We wanted to solve our problems through Federal Iraqi laws. However, our efforts were met with the filthy plot of 9 October 2020. The Kazimi government and the KDP partnered up for this agreement, with pressure from the Turkish state and certain international powers. Immediately we identified the agreement as a ‘legal ferman’.
The cause of all problems, disturbances and conflicts in Sinjar is the 9 October agreement. The pressure, threats and attacks in the last two years are being implemented in the framework of this plan.
The most recent attacks that started with the surrounding of Ezidxan Asayish in Digur on 18 April are connected to this agreement. Yazidis were preparing to observe the Çarşema Sor holiday when the attacks started, on the holiest day. The Iraqi army intends that we give up Ezidxan Asayish. It is known that the dissolution of Ezidxan Asayish is one key point in the 9 October agreement.
We explored all options to make sure the conflict would not spread. We made calls to Iraq and to the Iraqi people. We held many meetings both in Sinjar and in Baghdad for a solution. However, in these meetings we saw no respect for the will of the Yazidi people, to the presence of the Autonomous Administration, or to our self-defence forces. They wanted to impose the 9 October agreement on us once again.
The Iraqi army launched a major military offensive on 2 May to occupy Sinjar, using tanks, artilleries, and other heavy weaponry in Sinûnê and Digure as the last phase of attacks on Sinjar. KDP also set off on a mission and resorted to special warfare methods. KDP wants to push the people of Sinjar on migration routes once again, and to make them dependent on their camps. We know this policy well, and we are watching closely. It is true that some families have had to leave their homes due to the Iraqi offensive, but most of them have returned. The KDP did buy out some of them, the Aşitî Koçer tribe in particular. Our people have decided not to go on the road again, they have decided to return to Sinjar as a response to the KDP.
We are once again calling on all forces in Iraq. Do not fall for KDP and Turkish state tricks. The target of the Turkish state is not limited to Sinjar. The Turkish state wants to start a war in Iraq and to fulfil its neo-Ottoman dreams. We state once again that we want to solve our problems together and within a united Iraq. But at the same time, we want the Sinjar Autonomous Administration and the self-defence forces to be respected. Ezidxan Asayish and YBŞ-YJŞ forces are the honour of the Yazidi people. Nobody should talk or act against our defence forces.”
“We also call on international powers to stop supporting the 9 October agreement. Supporting this agreement means supporting a new ferman which the Yazidi people will be subjected to.”