Remember the massacre of Yazidis in Iraq in 2014? Well, they’re under attack again.
Yazidi self-defence militias and their affiliates, who have organised to defend themselves from Daesh (Isis/Isil), have been resisting the new assault since 3 March. But this time, the attackers aren’t jihadis. They’re Iraqi Kurdish forces allied with the West.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had met with Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani only a week before. Critics argue that the two are acting in concert. And this is only part of an increasingly apparent pattern of betrayal.
In August 2014, the world watched in horror as thousands of Yazidis fled from Daesh to the Sinjar (Şengal/Shingal) mountains. By then, the terror group had already slaughtered many Yazidis, and taken hundreds of women as sex slaves.
Iraqi Kurdish forces left the Yazidis without protection
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces were supposed to protect the Yazidi community. But in what Yazidis would see as a betrayal, these forces fled when Daesh attacked Sinjar. In desperation, the Yazidis attempted to get weapons from the Peshmerga, but their requests were denied.
Later, a Yazidi commander who tried to organise the resistance was arrested and imprisoned [German] by the the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of northern Iraq.
But Yazidis weren’t alone
The Yazidis believed all hope was lost. But in the end, support arrived.
KRG collusion with Turkey
But the KRG’s betrayal in Sinjar was no ‘one off’. It has also betrayed Iraqi Kurds like the Yazidis by consistently cosying up to Turkey.
A 2010 cable published by WikiLeaks provides details of discussions about how Turkey, the US, and the KRG could cooperate to crush the PKK – which Turkey had been fighting against for decades. The cable refers specifically to a meeting between Besir Atalay (then Turkish Interior Minister) and Barzani, to discuss strategy. And in July 2016, it was reported (again via WikiLeaks) that Turkey had provided [Turkish] Barzani with $200m. This was ostensibly to repair oil pipelines.
As The Canary has previously reported, the Turkish regime is currently at war with its domestic Kurdish population and with Kurdish anti-Daesh fighters in Syria. But now, it appears to be manipulating its KRG allies to attack anti-Daesh forces in Iraq too.
But such treachery can only aid Daesh.
– Read The Canary‘s articles on the progressive Rojava revolution in northern Syria.
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Featured image via Ezidi Press