The People’s Protection Units (YPG) have reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to stand by the Yazidi people in a statement on Thursday. The Kurdish militia warned that any further attack on them would be considered an attack on the YPG itself, promising to respond with full force in defence of their community.
“Our vision is for Sinjar to transform into a liberated city, where our Yazidi people can live freely according to their culture and faith, shielded from all forms of oppression,” said the YPG on the ninth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide.
Described as one of the gravest massacres of the twenty-first century, the 2014 Yazidi Genocide by the Islamic State (ISIS) stands as a poignant reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by minority groups in the region. Despite the evident danger faced by the Yazidis, the YPG stressed that the international community turned a blind eye to their plight, leaving a shameful stain on humanity’s conscience.
To ensure that such horrific events do not recur in the future, the YPG urged humanity and all world powers to rally in support of the Yazidi struggle for freedom and guarantee their right to exist peacefully within their territories. The Kurdish militia emphasized that the responsibility to prevent future tragedies lies upon the shoulders of the global community.
The YPG further urged the international community to recognise the Yazidi people’s inherent right to live freely within their territories and govern their administration autonomously.
Recognising the genocide would hold meaning only if the perpetrators are prosecuted and brought to justice, the YPG highlighted and called on all countries and international powers to take action against Turkey for its military offensives in Sinjar.
Yazidis have become targets in Turkey’s military operations due to their association with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which aided many community members in escaping ISIS attacks by defending a humanitarian corridor out of Sinjar while the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and other Iraqi forces fled, leaving the region vulnerable to takeover by the fundamentalist group. The PKK also assisted the Yazidis in forming their own defense forces, namely the Sinjar Resistance Units (YPŞ) and Êzîdxan Women’s Units (YJÊ).