Driven out by Daesh/ISIS 9 years ago, Ezidis now fear PKK presence in Sinjar
In absence of PKK threat, three-quarters of Ezidis in camps would have returned to Sinjar, says elderly woman
By Anadolu staff
DUHOK, Iraq (AA) - Ezidis, who fled from the Sinjar district of Mosul, Iraq, nine years ago due to the Daesh/ISIS occupation, are faced with another threat – the presence of PKK terrorists in their hometown.
Ezidis staying in Sharya Refugee Camp in Duhok struggle to survive in makeshift tents.
The agreement signed between Erbil and Baghdad on Oct. 9, 2020 aimed at eliminating the PKK terrorist organization from the region has not been implemented yet.
Fearing that PKK terrorists in Sinjar will kidnap and kill their children, Ezidis are afraid to return to their hometown.
Sara Revo, a 70-year-old Ezidi woman, told Anadolu that nine members of her family were captured by Daesh/ISIS and her son was killed.
“Daesh did not give us the opportunity to escape and we were trapped. It was a dark day for us and my son was trapped with us. I said, where are our men, where is my son? A Daesh (terrorist) hit me with the butt of a gun and I fell on my back. I couldn't recover for two days,” she said.
She said Daesh separated women and young girls in the following days and no one could say anything.
A year later, when she was freed, she found out her son was murdered.
She said they cannot return to their homeland due to the PKK presence.
“If the PKK had not been in Sinjar, three-quarters of the Ezidis in the camps would have now returned to their homes. People are afraid of their children being kidnapped. They’re afraid that if they return there again, their Daesh ordeal will be repeated,” she said.
- 'Fled with just bread and water'
Ezidi Bekir Garis, a 71-year-old camp resident, also stated that they fled Sinjar with a little water and bread before the Daesh invasion, stating that they will never forget that day.
“When we reached the mountain, we had nothing. Two brave young men went down to other villages to collect bread and water. After four hours, God had mercy on us, and in this way, we held on to life after eating some bread and water,” he said.
Stating that they have lived in this camp for nine years and want to return to their homes, Garis said: “However, we are afraid because of the situation Sinjar is in. As long as they (PKK) are there, we are here for another 100 years.”
“Even if the decision is made, we cannot go back. The PKK kidnaps our children if we return, and they kill the children if they flee. What a disgrace,” she said.
Another camp resident, 22-year-old Mehdi Hadi, who was 13 years old when Daesh attacked Sinjar, is one of the Ezidis living away from his homeland due to the PKK presence.
“All my dreams are in Sinjar. However, we cannot return because of the illegal groups there. They never leave us alone. The groups that tell us that we must return do not ensure our security and our rights,” said Hadi.
Daesh/ISIS terrorists attacked Sinjar, a region with an Ezidi-majority population, in August 2014.
The terror group kidnapped and killed thousands of people, including women and children, or detained them in areas under its control.
The PKK terrorist organization managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in 2014 under the pretext of protecting the Ezidi community from Daesh/ISIS terrorists.
Sinjar has a strategic position, as it is some 120 kilometers (74 miles) from Mosul and close to the Turkish-Syrian border.
Estimates put the total Ezidi population across the world at approximately 700,000 people. They are concentrated in northern Iraq, but also live in countries like Syria and Türkiye.
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