Shengal Autonomous Administration and TAJÊ condemn Turkish attacks, call for international action

The Autonomous Administration of Shengal and TAJÊ condemned yesterday's attack in which the Turkish state massacred 5 workers.

An unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) of the occupying Turkish state bombed the tents of workers who were drilling water wells in the Kora Simoqya area in the Mezargeh region of the Xanesor (Khanasor) town yesterday, December 28, evening. The workers had set up tents in Kora Simoqya to drill water wells in the surrounding villages and were trying to serve the people of the region. The attack claimed the lives of 5 workers.

Representatives of the Shengal Autonomous Administration and the Yazidi Women's Freedom Movement (TAJÊ) made a joint press statement denouncing the never-ending attacks of the occupying Turkish state against the Yazidi town of Shengal (Sinjar) in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Nayif Shemo, Co-Chair of the Democratic Autonomous Assembly of Shengal, said, "The Turkish state has once again attacked civilians in Shengal and 5 workers were martyred. We call on the United Nations, human rights institutions and the Security Council to fulfill their humanitarian duties. But unfortunately, all these institutions prefer to remain silent against the attacks of the occupying Turkish state."

Shemo also criticized the Iraqi government for not adopting the necessary attitude in the face of the attacks and said, "We ask Iraq; where is your state? Turn your eyes to Shengal instead of stealing. Iraq needs to take a stance against the attacks on Shengal and the Yazidi people. We call on Iraq to prevent the attacks of the Turkish state."

TAJÊ member Neam Bedel said, "We condemn Iraq for being a partner in the attacks. Iraq has no sovereignty if it cannot protect its citizens. If Iraq does not take a stance, it is a partner in these attacks."

The Yazidi settlement area Shengal (Sinjar) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is the last contiguous settlement area of the Yazidi community. Thousands of Yazidis were murdered and thousands of women and children were taken prisoner in the 3 August 2014 onslaught on Shengal by ISIS militants. While ISIS gangs began murdering Yazidis in Shengal, the Peshmerga left, leaving the Yazidis behind, unprotected. The guerrillas of HPG (People’s Defense Forces) and YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) and fighters of the YPG (People’s Defense Units) and YPJ (Women’s Defense Units) came to the Yazidi people's aid in the face of ISIS aggression. Thanks to a months-long selfless struggle, the city was liberated on 13 November 2015. After the liberation of the city, the HPG and YPG/YPJ subsequently withdrew in 2017. People who returned to their land after Shengal's independence reformed, established defensive units and built their institutions.

Attacks by Turkey that violate international law have been routine in southern Kurdistan for years. The Turkish air force bombs the territory of the KRI and Iraq on an almost daily basis, especially where guerrillas are suspected. However, civilian settlement areas are also regularly attacked by the Turkish army, including the Yazidi settlement area of Shengal and the Maxmur refugee camp. With its aerial terror, Ankara is pursuing a targeted policy of displacement - in particular by deliberately destroying civilian infrastructure.