YBŞ Commander: We will never allow another massacre of Êzîdîs
YBŞ commander Tîrêj Şengalî, an Êzîdî that took part in the operation to liberate Khanasor from ISIS occupation, said “We will not allow another massacre of our people to take place.”
Tîrêj Şengalî, a commander for Shengal Resistance Units-YBŞ spoke to Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper regarding the recent developments and ongoing tension in Shengal.
YBŞ commander stated that they did not pass over the possibility of clashes with KDP-AKP gangs, and that a 450-member Turkish force has been reinforced to the Shengal region.
Tîrêj Şengalî said they are aware of the KDP media's smear campaign in which Êzîdîs' Kurdishness is questioned, the reality is manipulated through conspiracy theories and virtual discourses on behalf of Êzîdîs are circulated online. He stressed that this smear campaign could not breach the lines of the Êzîdî Kurds.
Below is the statement YBŞ Commander Şengalî made to Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper:
“The gangs are positioned between Khanasor and Sinûnê. We did not have any military forces there which is a civilian area. After the attack, we took positions across them. Before, we did not expect them to attack and we did not take a fighting position. We did not know that the ones that came to the area were non-Kurds disguised in Kurdish outfits. Now we know that gangs trained by the Turks are unleashed upon Êzîdî Kurds.
TURKISH SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES INVOLVED
They received reinforcements on March 6. We received the information that Turkish soldiers from Zumar had also come. We found out that nearly 450 Turkish special operations forces were sent as reinforcements. Barzani had already stated that he had requested the support of Turks. They have deployed a force of 2 thousand armed men so far. We are positioned as Êzîdî forces, there is no reinforcement for us from Rojava or HPG.
THEY ARE USING GERMAN WEAPONS
The gangs possess the weapons Germany gave to the KDP to fight against ISIS and protection of Êzîdîs as well as weapons given by the International Coalition and the Turks. Civilian areas were damaged with their armored personnel carriers, heavy automatic rifles, heavy weaponry and conventional combat vehicles.
HOW CAN WE HIDE THE CHILDREN OF THIS PEOPLE
The gangs and their KDP master claim that they have massacred many Êzîdîs and that we are hiding this. We do not have a character nor habit to disrespect our holy martyrs like that. We are one with our people, we are the children of this people, who are we going to hide from whom?
THEY DEMANDED CEASEFIRE, NOT US
They want to portray us as powerless, weak and easy to crush. We responded to their attack in a way they did not expect, this is why they demanded a ceasefire. I am making it clear here; they demanded the ceasefire, not us. Officials Ferîq Cemal and Bedel Mend called us and expressed their demand. Our people are angry and they see this attack as the signal of a new massacre. Our people are aware that these people have nothing to do with Kurdishness and Kurdistan.
WE MADE OUR ATTITUDE CLEAR
We made our attitude clear and warned them during our talk with their side. Their current stance is provocative. Any further attack will expand and will not be restricted with that area. Therefore, we are waiting in our positions in a way that will show them that this will be costly.
RAQQA CLAIM IS NOT TRUE
The claims that these gangs are going to join the Raqqa initiative and are mobilized at the US' request are not true. There are requirements of international laws of war. If these forces acted with the approval of the US, we would be informed about it. There exists a procedure for this. There is no such a thing. This is our land, we saved it from ISIS occupation with our blood. If their goal was to go to Raqqa, they would find and take another way.
WE ARE ALL ACROSS SHENGAL
Our forces are all across Shengal. The area from Khanasor to Mount Kulik, from Meyzîman to Heyala and the larger part of Mount Shengal is under our control. Our forces are also present in Shengal city center. KDP has forces in Mehwer, Dihola, surrounding villages, and Shengal city center. Til Izê, Tilminat, Girzerik, Koço and other villages in south Shengal are still under ISIS occupation.
THOSE REFUSING TO FIGHT AND SURRENDERING TO THE YBŞ
When the fighting erupted, some of the Êzîdîs in their ranks refused to fight and came near us. We let them go after the fighting and they united with their families. However, we also captured some of them and they are still being held.
THEY ARE NOT PESHMERGAS
I may be repeating myself here but this is important; we cannot see or describe these attackers as 'peshmergas.' The peshmergas that fought alongside us during the battle of Shengal did not take part in this attack. Some of our forces are still side by side with peshmergas. Now, some of them have taken positions against us in the city center. We are also preparing ourselves accordingly.
DO NOT BE THE TOY OF TURKS
Our call to Êzîdî people, the people of Kurdistan, and humanity is that they stand against this aggression. The war may expand and we don't want Kurds to die even though they are coming at us with this purpose. The children of Kurdistan should not be the victims of the KDP's political plans. Nobody should be the toy of the Turkish state. Everyone should assume responsibility. The honorable Kurdistani stance is by our side. Our people should know that the YBŞ/YJŞ will resist and never kneel down even one single fighter is left. We will never allow another massacre of our people to take place.
KDP PREVENTS US FROM ADVANCING TOWARDS SOUTH SHENGAL
Unfortunately, the KDP is preventing efforts for the liberation of areas under ISIS occupation in south Shengal. We wanted to do this with the peshmergas but they always stalled us. Then, when Mosul operation began, they start to use this as a trump card. The Iraqi government did not approve this either because Barzani blackmailed them that if YBŞ advances on south Shengal, he would pave the way for Turks towards Mosul. All of these factors have prevented us from advancing on Shengal so far.
ATTITUDE OF MALA MÎRAN
Truthfully, we cannot speak about Mala (Community) Mîran because we have never received any bad words or behaviors from them. They have always wanted the best. They have not uttered a single bad word against us. However, many people talk against us on their behalf. They call us and speak on Radio Çira Şengalê. Mala Mîran from Laleş say that unpleasant rumors regarding them are spreading. The Spiritual Council is saying 'we do not want clashes and war among our people.' This is indeed what we, too, want.”