Yazidi youth on vigil as human shields in Shengal

Yazidi youth defend themselves as "human shields" against the international plan to dissolve the self-governing structures and self-defense forces YBŞ in Shengal.

In order to defend Shengal against the occupation by the Iraqi army and armed units of South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP, the Yazidi youth associations YCÊ and YJCÊ have set up a tent at the foothills of the mountains in the Amud region. As "human shields" they want to defend themselves against the agreement between the Iraqi central government and the KDP on the control of the Yazidi main settlement area in Southern Kurdistan.

The action of the youth, which started on November 26, is characterized by great enthusiasm. In the night of Friday, fires were lit and fireworks were shot into the air accompanied by singing and dancing. On Friday evening, Dijwar Feqîr, one of the commanders of the Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ), came to visit to give moral support to the youth. On Saturday morning, representatives of the Freedom and Democracy Party (PADÊ) and the Free Yazidi Women’s Movement (TAJÊ) visited the protest tent and declared their solidarity with the action of the youth.

Under pressure from the USA and Turkey

The Iraqi army has moved 8000 soldiers to the Yazidi settlement area Shengal in South Kurdistan within the last four days. The Iraqi government justified this action with the border protection and the replacement of the forces stationed in Shengal. However, no troops were withdrawn, while new special units of police and military were brought into the region. This development can be traced back to an agreement concluded in October between the government in Baghdad and the KDP. The agreement came about under UN auspices under pressure from Turkey and the United States.

Shengal is one of the Turkish army's targets in Kurdistan. Especially the Shengal Resistance Units, YBŞ are considered by the Erdoğan regime and the KDP as belonging to the PKK. Because of the KDP’s close cooperation with the Turkish state, it is not unlikely that Turkish units will also be involved in the mobilization. Part of the agreement between Baghdad and Hewlêr [Erbil] is the dissolution of the Yazidi self-defense forces.