Yazidi women in Shengal organize amid Turkish attacks

Delila Suham Şingalî, a member of the Diplomacy Committee of the Free Yazidi Women's Council (TAJÊ) said that women are leading the self-government and democratic nation as they continue to organize against the attacks on Shengal.

Following the Turkish incursion into the Kurdistan Region on April 23, attacks on the town of Shengal (Sinjar), the holy land of the Yazidi community, have been continuing increasingly. Seît Hesen, one of the commanders of the Shengal Defence Units (YBŞ), and his nephew, İsa Xweda, were killed on August 16, 2021 in a Turkish drone attack on the old bazaar in Shengal. In another attack, 4 healthcare workers and 4 YBŞ members lost their lives on August 17, 2021, following the bombing of Shengal Sikêniye Hospital. Shengal Autonomous Administration Executive Council Co-Chair Merwan Bedel was murdered, and his two children were injured on December 7, 2021 in another attack in the Khanasor (Xanesor) district of Shengal. On December 11, Turkish fighter jets bombed the Khanasor People's Assembly. Despite all the attacks, the Yazidis have organized themselves under the Shengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly (MXDS) and established a new life.

The resistance of the Yazidis, who have not stepped back despite the silence of the KDP against the attacks and the threats of ISIS and Turkey, is outstanding. Yazidi women who lead the resistance, struggle and administration in Shengal are organizing themselves against possible attacks.

Delila Suham Şingalî from the TAJÊ spoke to Mezopotamya Agency (MA) about the latest developments in the region.


Şingalî stated that they had carried out wide-ranging activities in the fields of politics, diplomacy and defence in 2021 and gave information on their future activities in 2022. Remarking that dirty policies are being carried out against Shengal, she continued, “The Yazidi community is going through a very critical period. The TAJÊ carries out most of its organizational activities in Shengal. Most recently, we started a campaign to visit all villages and neighbourhoods. The most important thing in the face of ongoing attacks is to organize and unite. We continue to carry out activities to raise concern over the attacks against Shengal, and to highlight the importance of women's unity and protection of the gains of women. On this basis, we contacted women's organizations from different nations and started promoting women's unity against these attacks.”


Şingalî noted that the TAJÊ offers education to women and children in their mother tongue every year. In this scope, kindergartens were also opened. Trained and organized women gave education in these schools.

“When women are organized, they come to life in the public sphere. When this happens, women have the power to change their environment. Our training is not restricted to education in the mother tongue, we also provide training in the political and defence fields. If we get the opportunity, we will offer our training to all the women around us,” she added.


Şingalî remarked that the Turkish air strikes also target the women's organization: “The Turkish attacks on Shengal started right after the latest Yazidi massacre and are still continuing. These attacks are against the self-government ruling model. They also target the existence and freedom of women. The Turkish attacks prevent the Yazidis refugees living in camps from returning to their land. There is no difference between the attacks carried out by the Turkish state and those by ISIS. These attacks have a particular purpose, which is to eliminate women because they are the ones who educate and lead society.”


Şingalî stressed that women are ready for possible attacks, continuing; "After unprecedented resistance, ISIS was physically destroyed in Shengal. However, we have seen ISIS sleeper cells in Iraq and Syria resurrecting recently. ISIS carried out 108 attacks in total in 2021. Hundreds of people lost their lives during the attacks. There may be similar attacks against Shengal. We can only defend ourselves through training and organizing. Before the Yazidi massacre, there was no social organization. Women were not organized. Women were not in the defence units and did not have the power to protect their society. However, this is not the case now. Women inspired their communities and educated them with their own strength. In order to do so, people must oppose these attacks in the spirit of resistance."


Noting that women played an important role in the formation of the self-government model, Şingalî noted, “Women have endorsed the thoughts and ideas of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan against the capitalist and authoritarian regimes.”

Shingalî remarked that the self-government model was shaped under the lead of women in Rojava, Maxmur and Shengal.  “This project is actually the key to a solution for entire humanity. For this very reason, they are afraid of the women and young people who are the leading force of this project. We, the Yazidi women, need to act together against genocide, migration, attacks and dirty plans and policies. We need to strengthen our unity and embrace Mr. Öcalan's self-government project.”