People are afraid after Iraqi military deployment and attack in Şengal

For the people of Şengal, the Iraqi military presence is a significant burden. Freedom of movement is restricted and people are afraid.

Iraq has massively increased its military presence in the Yazidi settlement area of Şengal, and many roads in the region are closed. The increased presence of the Iraqi army in Şengal is taking place in parallel with the Turkish invasion of the guerrilla areas in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) and the permanent attacks on Rojava. The connection between Şengal, Rojava and Medya Defense Zones is meant to be cut off, all three areas are to be isolated and worn down. Apparently, there is a collusion between the Erdogan government in Turkey, the Barzani party KDP in southern Kurdistan and the Iraqi central government under Mustafa al-Kadhimi. This is also indicated by the arrest of journalists Marlene Förster and Matej Kavčič on April 20 in Şengal. The two media workers from Germany and Slovenia were researching the situation in the region and are being held by the Iraqi secret service on charges of "supporting terrorism".

The people of Şengal have built their own structures of administration and self-defense after the ISIS genocide of 2014, in which they were abandoned by the Iraqi army and the KDP peshmerga. The Kadhimi government - apparently in collusion with Turkey - wants to dismantle these structures. KCK spokesman Zagros Hîwa sees this as proof that there is no longer any state authority in Iraq. According to the KCK spokesman, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and his counterpart in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Masrour Barzani, have "turned the Iraqi soldiers and the peshmerga into cannon fodder for Erdogan's army."

"There is no reason for a military presence in Şengal"

For the people of Şengal, the military siege is a significant burden. Movement is restricted and people are afraid. Xwedêda Mirad runs a sheep farm in the village of Bare and says he can no longer graze his flock as he used to. Like him, many shepherds in the region feel the same way. Mirad explains that the security situation in Şengal was good until Iraqi troops moved in: "People who were displaced in the ISIS genocide of 2014 wanted to come back and live on their own land again. Because Iraq sent troops and attacked our security forces, people are afraid."

The Yazidi community has already suffered a lot, Mirad continues: "Instead of fighting us, Iraq should offer us services and allow the displaced to return. We Yazidis are against war. We don't want war in Şengal. It's not in our interest. Before the Iraqi military caused these problems, we had lived carefree. Now there are soldiers everywhere and this worries people. We used to be able to graze our sheep everywhere, but now we can't go anywhere. There are obstacles in many places. If Iraq does not intervene in Şengal, we can defend and manage ourselves. There is no reason for a military presence in Şengal."