Government of Shengal condemns Turkish drone attack in which Mervan Bedel lost his life

The government of Shengal condemned the Turkish drone attack on Mervan Bedel and his children and made Iraq and the KDP jointly responsible for it. Mervan Bedel's funeral will take place today.

The Autonomous Administration of Shengal condemned the Turkish drone attack on Mervan Bedel and his children and holds Iraq and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) jointly responsible for it. Bedel was co-chair of the executive committee of the Shengal Autonomous Council and was killed in the bombing targeting his car on Tuesday.

Fatal attack on a Yazidi holiday

In its statement on the fatal attack, the board of the autonomous government underlined the fact that it took place on the Yazidi holiday Rojiya Ezî: “Merwan Bedel left the house to prepare the holiday for his children. At the time of the attack, his children Dinya and Dicle were with him. We are sure that the Turkish state, as a declared enemy of the Yazidi community, deliberately chose this day to target him. Turkey wants to make our holy and meaningful holiday a painful day. We see this attack as a continuation of the agreement reached between Hewlêr and Baghdad on 9 October 2020."

"Shengal should be wiped out"

The agreement, which was rejected by the people of Shengal and reached without their participation, provides, among other things, for the dissolution of the autonomous security forces and other institutions established in response to the Islamic State genocide of 2014. The Autonomous Administration refers to Turkey's deadly drone attacks in Shengal in the past: The car of YBŞ commander Seîd Hesen was bombed in August; three years ago, the Yazidi revolutionary Zekî Şengalî (Ismail Özden) was killed by a drone. In January 2020, YBŞ commander Zerdeşt Şengalî and three other fighters were killed in a drone attack.”

The autonomous administration said that “the enemy pursues the goal of destroying the status of Ezidxan [land of the Yazidis] and leaders of the Yazidi people. The Yazidis want to live independently and freely on their own land.”

From the military to the diplomatic level

Merwan Bedel has fought for the Yazidi people since the Islamic State attack on 3 August 2014. “From the first day he opposed the Islamic State gangs and offered resistance. He joined the YBŞ and worked tirelessly until his death to ensure that the population organized, defended themselves and built a free life. From the military to the diplomatic level, he has worked in all areas for the creation of a democratic society and an official status for Shengal. If we can speak of a free Shengal today, Shehid Merwan Bedel has a large part in it.

At the fourth congress of the Shengal Democratic Autonomous Council, Mervan Bedel was elected co-chair of the executive committee. As a leading figure in the Yazidi community, he took on great responsibility. The attack on him is an attack on the Yazidi people. Our enemies attack Yazidi leaders to force society to surrender.”

Iraq and the KDP are jointly responsible

The statement added: “Although the attack was carried out by the Turkish state, we also hold the Iraqi government responsible for it. It must answer for this attack on the Yazidi people. If it had positioned itself against the enemies of the Yazidi people, the attack of the Islamic State gangs on Shengal would not have been possible, nor would Mam Zekî, Seîd Zekî and Merwan Bedel have been killed by Turkish attacks. The Iraqi government's silence and collaboration encourage our enemies to carry out such attacks.

We also hold the KDP responsible because it constantly shows Shengal as a target. The KDP made its existence dependent on the existence of the Turkish state."

Funeral of Bedel to be held today

The autonomy administration calls on the population to attend the funeral of Mervan Bedel today and says: “We will tell all enemies of the Yazidi people that they cannot break our will. No attack can dissuade us from our fight for an independent and free Shengal."