Şengal Autonomous Assembly calls for a solution and expulsion of invaders
The Şengal Autonomous Assembly has declared its position on the Iraqi army's attacks. According to the statement, the Autonomous Assembly continues to plead for a solution to the existing problems within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.
A tense atmosphere continues to prevail in the main Yazidi settlement area of Şengal in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). Parallel to the Turkish army's invasion of the guerrilla areas in southern Kurdistan, tensions and clashes provoked by the Iraqi army have been occurring in Şengal since the beginning of the week. An attack on the self-governing security forces in the region killed a female fighter from the Women's Resistance Units (YJŞ), founded in response to the ISIS genocide in 2014. Other people were injured.
The Şengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly (MXDŞ) discussed the attacks on the region in northern Iraq after consultations with representatives of the Yazidi security forces (Asayîşa Êzîdxanê), civil society organizations, the PADÊ party, the Yazidi women's movement (TAJÊ) and the Arab population, as well as religious leaders. After the meeting, the results were announced at a press conference at the "Şehîd Berxwedan û Şehîd Dilgeş" martyrs' cemetery. The statement was delivered by Azad Hussein of the Şengal Autonomous Assembly.
"We prevented an outbreak of war"
In the statement, the Autonomous Assembly noted that Turkey is conducting operations in collaboration with the Barzani clan to eliminate the population's defense forces and occupy the region. At the same time as the Turkish invasion of southern Kurdistan, Iraqi military forces have been harassing checkpoints of the Yazidi security forces in Şengal on behalf of the al-Kadhimi government, he said. "We would like to emphasize here that the outbreak of a fierce war was prevented only by the attitude of the autonomous administration and the defense forces of Şengal. The Iraqi military tried everything to start a long and heavy war. We did not allow this war because we feel responsibility for the people of Iraq," Hussein said.
Who would benefit from a war in Şengal?
The Autonomous Assembly asked about the reason for the attack, Hussein continued: "Who wants this war? Who would benefit from it? Is Iraq behind it or the Turkish state together with the KDP? As the Şengal Autonomous Assembly, we want answers to these questions from the Iraqi state. The Iraqi government needs to explain its position."
Hussein referred to the ISIS attack in 2014 and recalled that Iraq and the KDP withdrew their forces without a fight at that time and Turkey acted together with ISIS. Only the PKK defended Şengal against ISIS, he said and continued; "Defending Şengal is defending Nineveh and defending Nineveh means defending all of Iraq. We defended both ourselves and the existence of Iraq during the massacre. So why is the Iraqi army pointing its weapons at the people of Şengal today? We know that the Ottoman sword is always hovering over our heads and that the KDP wants to destroy all our achievements. But after ISIS, the Turkish state and the KDP, does the Iraqi army also want to wage war against the Yazidis? Does the Iraqi state also want to be part of the genocide against the Yazidi community? This is a question of historical importance for us and we want an answer from Iraq," Hussein said.
"ISIS did not come from Rojava"
Regarding the Iraqi government's attempt to cut the connection between Şengal and Rojava with a border wall, barbed wire and military threats, Hussein said, "It is common knowledge that ISIS gangs did not invade Şengal from Rojava across the border but came from Iraq. In contrast, hundreds of fighters from the YPJ and YPG came across this border to help us. The fact that so many people could be saved from genocide was thanks to the free-fought way across the border. The current policy is intended to force the autonomous administration in Şengal to surrender, which it fundamentally rejects.”
"This policy leads to the division of Iraq," Hussein warned. He said Turkey openly professed its neo-Ottoman plans and wanted to make Nineveh, including Şengal and Kirkuk, a province of the Turkish Republic.
Ready for a solution within the framework of the Iraqi constitution
The Autonomous Assembly is aware of these plans and remains ready for a dialogue on a solution to the situation of Şengal within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. However, the demands of the Yazidi community must be taken into account, Hussein said, adding, "We call on the Iraqi state to oppose the plan of the Turkish state and the KDP. Let us drive these forces out of Şengal and seek a solution together. Our will cannot be broken by means of threats, oppression and attacks. We have given our word for a free and autonomous Şengal, and we stand by it."
Should war occur, the Iraqi government would be responsible, Hussein stressed, "We hope for a solution that takes into account Şengal's free will. However, if the al-Kadhimi government attacks us together with the Turkish state and the KDP, we will resist to the utmost."
In conclusion, Hussein called on the Yazidi community to stand together. In particular, he said, the Yazidis in Europe must take action against the attacks. He called on all forces from Kurdistan to take a stand against the plans of Turkey and the KDP and to support Şengal, he said. Hussein appealed to the international community to recognize the special status of Şengal and to prevent further massacres.