Yazidi refugees: We do not give up Serêkaniyê

The Yazidis who escaped from Serêkaniyê say: "As long as the occupiers are there, we will not be able to return. But we will never give up our land."

According to the autonomous administration of North and East Syria, more than 300,000 people have fled from the occupied territories in Northern Syria. ANF spoke with the displaced Yazidis.

Mehdi Said Şêxo comes from Shekeriyê near Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and is now an internally displaced person in Dirbêsiyê (al-Darbasiyah). He tells of his escape from the attackers as follows: "The Turkish army fired artillery shells in the surroundings of our village. I fled with my relatives down the street. Then I returned with my brother and afterwards the other relatives returned to their houses. But half an hour after we had returned, the shelling began anew. Then we had to flee head over heels. We all fled together to the village of Xirbet Eyd and distributed ourselves among our relatives living there. Since the living conditions there are very bad in winter, we had to leave again. We have now settled with twelve families with relatives in the village Xirbe Xwe near Dirbêsiyê".

“As long as they are there, we will not return”

Many families from the region have spread to the villages in Hesekê (al-Hassakah) and Dirbêsiyê, reports Şêxo and explains that even if the occupying forces offered them a return now, they could not accept: "Even if they said now, come back to us, we will not return to our country as long as they are there. As soon as they are gone, we will return. An old man from our neighbouring village Behiriye returned to his village, where they took him hostage and demanded money from his family. He was held there for ten days. If he hadn't been old, they certainly wouldn't have released him. But we want nothing more than to return to our homes and to our land."

“They have plundered everything”

Zekiya Seid Xelef is a Yazidi woman who had to flee from the invasion. She says, "I am a Yazidi mother. I have four daughters and two sons. When the attacks started, we had to stay there. Then we went to Xirbe Xwe, stayed there for a few days and then returned hoping nothing more would happen. During this time the gangs had looted all our property. We cannot return. Since we are Yazidi Kurds, they do not let us live on our land. We have seen what they did in Shengal and Afrin. As long as they are there, we cannot return."

Mümin from Til Seher says: "They plundered our village, burned everything down. As long as even one of them is still there, we will not be able to return. But we will never give up our land."