YPJ: We reiterate our pledge to avenge Yazidi women

"We as the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) have seen the protection of the women of Shengal, its people, and women as a whole as our historic duty. There proved to be no other way except to stand up and fight, once faced by an enemy as ISIS was."

Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) released a statement marking the 5th anniversary of the massacre and catastophy that was brought upon the Êzîdî (Yazidi) community in Shengal, and calling out for the commemoration of all the victims.

The statement by YPJ Command Center reads as follows;

“We commemorate all the martyrs of 2014 in the person of the martyrs Bêrîvan, Gulçîn, Vînar, Şengal, Berxwedan, Canwelat and Zêrîn Qamişlo, whom all we are indebted to for their selfless defense of Shengal. In memory of their self-sacrificial spirits we repeat our vow to realize the goals that they dreamt of.

Throughout history, many a dozen massacres were brought upon our Êzîdî community by the murderous occupying forces. Their intentions were the obliteration of the religion, belief, culture and holy soil of Shengal. First to mention is the Turkish state that had a role in 61 genocidal decrees upon Shengal, and always was the main reason for the massacres. Then there were the collaborative and traitorous forces that made the people in Ezidkhan targets for their dirty attacks as a result of their own sectarian, religious and nationalistic conflicts. These attacks again were the result of the dirty politics and agression of the dominating forces and of fascism.

This dirty politics is being applied in our time once again. Attempts are being undertaken to exterminate the people and the structure of self-organisation that has been established after the massacres. It was 2014 when Kurdish young women and men reached out to Shengal from all corners of the world to repel the horrendous calamity by cutting the way of the ISIS gangs.

As grandchildren of the blacksmith Kawa, as followers of Derwesh and Edul, and as comrades to martyrs as Binefş Agal, they took up the oath of retaliation and stopped the massacre. Now the forces that do not tolerate peace in Shengal are acting to destroy what has been saved. Collaborators are unsettled seeing a system established and progressing by the hands of the awakened woman. With the same mentality, and by support of the KDP, attacks are being done these days against the achievements of Shengal. The sort of immoral threats expressed against the pioneering movement for the freedom of Kurdish women, are the same of those practices that their like-minded predecessors did on our Êzîdî girls and women in 2014.

It differs in nothing to the daily threats thrown at the achievements of the revolution in Rojava, North-East Syria and soil of South Kurdistan. In the face of such attacks and threats of invasions, our people is required to be aware and expand their efforts for the struggle of freedom.

As for our Êzîdî community, they grew out of their ashes thanks to the guidance of comrades as Bêrîvan, Şengal and Berxwedan that gave their lives. One vivid example is the establishment of the YBŞ-YJŞ defense forces, and Shengal Democratic Independence Council. Our people of Shengal proved to stick true to their own, to their values, beliefs and their religion, despite all the pain and immeasurable trauma that they had endured. The means of self-defense has been found as the most legitimate form of response to the war that ravages, murders, exterminates, and denies all values. Our people in Shengal are following that principle today on their own, and are strengthening their self-defense measures for life.

We as the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) have seen the protection of the women of Shengal, its people, and women as a whole as our historic duty. There proved to be no other way except to stand up and fight, once faced by an enemy as ISIS was. So we held up high that idea of defense, and played a huge role in the process of opening a corridor from Shengal to Rojava as we did in many consequent operations for the retaliation of the women of Shengal, which all required huge sacrifices of our forces. One by one, all the dirty schemes were crushed thanks to the struggle and resistance offered by the defense forces, and by virtue of our heroic martyrs and commitment of mothers.

ISIS took another heavy blow in their stronghold Raqqa from the historic resistance of our and YJŞ fighters. After that, humanity was offered a huge victory when our forces, alongside the YPG and SDF succeeded in defeating ISIS in Deir ez-Zor. Hundreds of Êzîdî women, children and girls were rescued from the grasps of the ISIS gangs. We had given our vow to retaliate Shengal, and so it happened. The unparalleled sacrifices of the martyrs, the commitment mounted by our mothers and of all women, built up strength, belief, hope and unity of mind between women and peoples. We repeat again our resolution to protect all that has been achieved. And we renew our pledge that we gave the Êzîdî women to retaliate the women that fell hostages. On that basis we declare the continuation of our struggle for freedom. We vow to all martyrs of freedom, all mothers of the comrades that gave their lives, and all women of Shengal.”