On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the eve of a Yazidi Fasting Celebration and a day before a planned visit to the District of Sinjar by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, the district was attacked by the Turkish Air-force in a coordinated airstrike targeting multiple locations in western Mount Sinjar.
As a Yazidi global organization, we condemn in the strongest words, Turkey’s continued hostilities against the region, and we request that Iraq, as a sovereign state, as well as the United Nations and major international powers, to condemn the attack and request that Turkey halts all operations against the Yazidi-majority territory in Sinjar.
We also request that all militias, including the PKK, immediately remove all their elements from the district. While we are grateful for everyone that supported the rescue of our people in 2014, we reject intentions and plans to establish any permanent presence of any foreign force that further complicates the geopolitical scene of Sinjar or regionalizes the conflict.
We also reject presence of any militias in Sinjar including all the factions who participated in Sinjar liberation from ISIS in 2017 or before it.
Our evaluation is that presence of any militias linked to regional powers and internal conflicts inside Iraq complicates the situation and cause further destabilization. We wish that no group capitalizes on the emergency conditions found during, or shortly after, ISIS control on the region. We wish that all groups will consider their intervention as a moral duty and remove their forces as the protection of these regions constitutionally falls under the authority and obligation of Iraqi formal security forces.
We also call on the Iraqi government to establish a sizable local force of no less than 30,000 from the local populations, including Yazidis, Christians, Muslims and all components of Sinjar. These forces, in our opinion, should be included as part of the Federal Police, Border Police, and the Army. Coalition forces to help to train and equip these forces will be needed and we believe it will be provided with a formal request from Iraq.
This force can be partially formed from the current groups carrying arms in Sinjar who are natives to Sinjar, and it could partially include those who were members of the ISF but left the army during the breakup of the Iraqi security forces in 2014. There are thousands of well-trained soldiers who fall under this condition. Additional members may also be recruited.
The recruitment of this force under the Iraqi Federal Authority shall be adequate to localize the conflict and remove geopolitical interests of Iraqi neighbors. In our evaluation, it will also reduce tensions between the Central Government and Kurdistan Regional Government.
Lastly, we call on all parties, not to forget the suffering of the Yazidi people and all communities of Sinjar, including Christians, Arab Shiaa, Kurds, and Arab Sunnis. After four years of suffering where nearly 80 percent of population of Sinjar remain displaced, it is time to bring back stability and normalize the situation.
Point of Contact: Saad Babir, Director of Media and Relations