Kurds: We will liberate Shengal and Kurdistan to honour the genocide victims.
YBSh (HPG-affiliated Ezidi force in #Shengal) celebrated its first anniversary today.
We will liberate Shengal and Kurdistan to honour the genocide victims
From the Kurdish Question.
The People’s Defense Centre (HSM) Headquarters Command has released a statement on the anniversary of the Shengal genocide perpetrated by ISIS gangs against the Kurdish Êzîdî people in South Kurdistan.
Condemning the perpetrators of the savage genocide vehemently, and describing it as a black mark of humanity in the 21st century, HSM commemorated all the people martyred in this genocide and in the following resistance, the youths and fighters of the Êzîdî people, guerrillas and peshmergas, and pledged to liberate Shengal and Kurdistan to honor their memory. HSM also vowed to bring the powers behind this mass killing to book.
‘WE WOULD OBVIOUSLY NOT REMAIN SILENT TO THE ISIS EXECUTIONS IN SHENGAL’
“It was obvious that the Kurdish freedom and guerrilla forces wouldn’t remain silent to the ISIS executions in Shengal on seeing that those meant to defend that region retreated from the scene instead of resisting”, said HSM Headquarters Command and recalled the followings as to how Shengal survived ISIS genocide one year ago.
“Risking all the dangers, HPG started an initiative to stop the genocide against Êzîdî people through an intervention in Shengal area on August 3.
Battalion forces dispatched to Shengal on August 3,4 and 5, also with the support of YPG, took 150 thousand Êzîdî people under their protection on Mount Sinjar, and started their delivery into Rojava through a corridor as of August 8.
Thanks to the brave self-sacrificing comrades, this genocide against the Êzîdî people was stopped, yet thousands of people were abducted by ISIS gangs during the first two days, and hundreds of them were massacred.”
The statement by HSM also recalled that the Kurdish freedom movement alongside the women, youths and individuals from the Êzîdî community who stayed in Shengal and joined the resistance waged a fight against ISIS gangs for four and a half months with great commitment, courage, determination and sense of patriotism.
HSM Headquarters Command underlined that; “Despite the fact that the resistance averted a greater massacre and the north of Shengal has been liberated, it is an obvious truth that the entire Shengal territory is yet to be liberated, and the victims of the genocide are yet to be avenged. It is political but not military problems that creates an obstacle to the achievement of this goal. A part of the Shengal town and lands still remains occupied by ISIS due to the failure of the Kurdish politics to achieve the unity and association in itself. This situation remains a significant matter of self-criticism for the Kurdish politics.”
‘THE FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF SHENGAL’S LIBERATION’
People’s Defense Center Headquarters Command stated that the first year anniversary of the genocide by ISIS, based on colonialism and described as ‘edict’ by Êzîdî people, would be the beginning of Shengal’s liberation. The Command noted that resistance against the colonialism of AKP, which has an ideological affinity with ISIS, would also be interpreted as a struggle against ISIS, and defeating ISIS would imply defeating AKP, due to the relationship between the two. The Command promised that they would fulfill all of their responsibilities so that the people of Shengal gain victory in their struggle against ISIS.
‘WE WILL DO EVERYTHING FOR THE LIBERATION OF SHENGAL’
In its statement, the Command emphasized the importance of Leader Apo’s framework in the struggle of guerrilla forces, which would exhibit an increased military performance based on the self-defense of all peoples of Kurdistan in the coming period. The Command promised that they would do everything for the liberation of Shengal, so that hundreds of hostages are freed and Êzîdî people can freely express themselves and their free will in an environment of victory and hope.
The Command noted that its guerrilla forces had been waiting for the development of a national policy which would include all forces stationed in Shengal, but would act on its own if necessary, in addition to its pledge to develop joint action through the perspective of national unity.
HSM ended its statement by emphasizing its determination to do everything for the liberation of Shengal, people’s victory and freedom, and revenge of martyrs who died during the genocide.
See also the excellent US based site Harvest.
The ANF (Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê) news service reports:
Shengal Resistance continues uninterrupted at the first year anniversary of Shengal Genocide. 1094 gang members were killed and 326 were wounded during the first year of ISIS occupation of the Êzîdî town.
More than 420 clashes took place between HPG, YJA Star and YBŞ/YPJ Shengal forces and ISIS gangs since Shengal Genocide last year. 1094 gang members were killed and 326 were wounded during these clashes. The humanitarian aid corridor between Shengal and Rojava was reopened on December 18. Shengal Resistance Forces made up of HPG, YJA Star, YBŞ, YPG and YPJ fighters launched the ‘Operation for Shengal’s Liberation’ in the town center and nearby villages, and liberated several locations. YPJ Shengal announced its formation and Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ) held its first conference over the past year. Êzîdî people resisting ISIS in Mount Shengal also formed Shengal Êzîdî Assembly for Construction representing the will of Êzîdî people. The assembly works towards fulfilling the different needs of Êzîdî people who are resisting ISIS in Mount Shengal or have returned to their lands in and around the town.
HPG, YJA Star, and YBŞ fighters from Shengal and YPG/YPJ forces from Rojava reopened the aid corridor between Rojava and Shengal on December 18. YJA Star commander Sema Koçer stated that civilians had a difficult time and the need for food supplies, heating and accommodation became urgent after the closure of the aid corridor. Koçer said that they launched the operation for the reopening of the corridor from Shengal, and YPG/YPJ forces did the same from Rojava. As part of this operation, all villages between Rojava and Shengal were cleared of ISIS gang members.
THEY WANTED TO BUY US LIKE HOW THEY HAD SOLD US BEFORE
YBŞ commander Serxwebun Cevahir noted that KDP peshmergas opened an aid corridor between South Kurdistan and Mount Shengal as HPG/YJA Star and YBŞ forces were opening the Rojava-Shengal aid corridor on December 18, and KDP took over the villages of Hardan, Zorava, Guhbel, Digurê and Sinune to the north of Shengal without firing a single bullet. Cevahir recalled their proposal to KDP forces in Shengal regarding the opening of a joint corridor, but peshmergas responded negatively and opened the South Kurdistan-Shengal corridor on their own. Cevahir reported that Êzîdî people’s response to KDP policies was the following: ‘They wanted to buy us like how they had sold us on our holy day.’
Shengal Resistance Forces launched their Operation for Shengal’s Liberation in the town center and nearby villages after the reopening of Shengal-Rojava aid corridor on December 18. YPJ commander Helîn Êzîdî, who was present in the operation against ISIS forces in Xanesor to the north of Mount Shengal, said that gang members escaped upon YPJ forces’ arrival in Xanesor. Êzîdî and several other YPJ fighters climbed up the balcony of a house and realized that there was the beheaded body of an old man there after they began to slip in the balcony due to the blood beneath their feet. YPJ fighters buried the old man’s body and found 2 old women and 1 old man inside the same house during their search and sweep efforts. The 3 survivors of the massacre hugged YPJ fighters in tears and asked them where they had been as civilians were under ISIS attack.
KDP DUG TRENCHES SEPERATELY
HPG guerrilla Newrez Haki noted that Shengal Resistance Forces launched their Operation for Shengal’s Liberation in the town center at 11:00 on December 19, and KDP forces quickly joined the operation at 13:00. However, KDP peshmergas did not want to act together and rejected offers for joint planning and action. Many gang members were killed during the heavy clashes that took place on the first three days of the operation. Shengal Resistance Forces set up a defensive perimeter in the city center after the majority of KDP peshmergas retreated from the city center and began to dig trenches separately. Haki stated that peshmergas were retreating during ISIS suicide attacks, and coming back to their trenches only after Shengal Resistance Forces repelled these suicide attacks.
Haki reiterated KDP’s refusal of Shengal Resistance Forces’ proposal to liberate Shengal altogether under a united command, and said that peshmergas formed a defense perimeter in the city center only when they realized that the resistance of the guerrillas and YBŞ fighters was effective against ISIS attacks.
President of South Kurdistan Masoud Barzani had visited Shengal on the second day of the Operation for Shengal’s Liberation, but ended his visit prematurely after seeing that it was not KDP peshmergas who were liberating the town.
ARRIVAL OF AID
TEVDA administrator Munzur Dêrsim stated that TEVDA and RAP delivered aid from the four parts of Kurdistan and Europe to Shengal after the opening of the aid corridor between Shengal and Rojava, and the incoming aid was distributed among 12 camps in and around Mount Shengal in order to satisfy people’s needs.
ESTABLISHMENT OF YPJ SHENGAL
YPJ Shengal forces announced its establishment in a conference that was held during Shengal Resistance Forces’ Operation for Shengal’s Liberation. The final declaration of the conference, attended by 44 delegates, was shared with the public on January 5, 2015. In its declaration, YPJ Shengal noted that women inside the YBŞ decided to establish YPJ Shengal (Shengal Women’s Defense Units, Yekîneyên Parastina Jin ê Şengalê) in order to strengthen the Operation for Shengal’s Liberation, liberate Shengal, support the free future of Êzîdî culture, and ensure the freedom of women and people in general in Shengal. YPJ Shengal adopted Leader Apo’s perspective for women’s liberation, and listed its main goals as struggling against patriarchal mentalities and structures, furthering young women’s self-defense capabilities, liberating Êzîdî women enslaved by ISIS on August 2-3, protecting the memories of women slain during the ISIS massacre, and supporting the mobilization of YBŞ.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SHENGAL
Êzîdî people resisting ISIS in Mount Shengal formed their assembly on January 14, after the conference of YPJ Shengal. 200 delegates participated in the Conference on Shengal Êzîdî Assembly for Construction, which was also attended by representatives from KCK, YNK, Communist Party, Democratic Movement of Êzîdîs (Tevgera Demokratik ya Êzîdîya, TEVDA), and Progressive Êzîdîs Party (Partiya Êzîdîya Peşveru). Shengal Êzîdî Assembly for Construction described the goal of its conference as ensuring the political and social organization of Êzîdî people, and strengthening the self-defense of these people. The assembly noted that the 73rd massacre targeting Êzîdî people was more tragic than the previous 72 massacres due to the lack of organization and self-defense in Êzîdî society, and announced its formation of an assembly made up of 27 people and an executive committee composed of 7 people. The assembly adopted August 3rd as the International Day of Shengal, and formed 6 main committees on defense, diplomacy, mobilization, economy, treasury, and women and youth.
YBŞ WAS THE ANSWER TO GENOCIDE FROM THE VERY FIRST DAY
Shengal Resistance Units (Yekîneyen Berxwedana Şengalê , YBŞ) publicized the final resolution of the first conference which took place with the participation of 71 delegates. The final resolution laid emphasis on the importance of unity of all resistance forces from Kurdistan, and explained the emergence of YBŞ as follows; “
YBŞ emerged as an answer on the very first day of the August 3 genocide which resulted in the martyrdom and captivity of thousands of people, it became the front of resistance during those critical days and declared its founding to the public.”
KDP CALLED GUERRILLAS ‘GUEST’ TO WHICH PEOPLE REACTED
Reaction of the KDP grew stronger to the conference of the YBŞ/YPJ Shengal, and to the resistance of guerrilla forces joining the “Operation to Liberate Shengal”. KDP received public reaction upon its statements desribing the PKK as “a guest in South Kurdistan”.
“Should PKK leave Shengal, we will leave, too”, said the people in criticism of the KDP, describing the PKK as “one of the basic forces in Shengal”, and instead KDP as “the actual guest”. People also manifested strong reaction to the KDP for arresting the youths that wanted to join the YBŞ, and stated that “KDP wants to choke the Shengal Resistance by means of such steps”.
WORKS FOR THE SHENGAL ÊZÎDÎ ASSEMBLY FOR CONSTRUCTION
Since its founding, the Shengal Êzîdî Assembly for Construction has performed significant works including meeting the basic needs of the people living in 12 camps on Mount Shengal, water and electricity in the first place. This was accompanied by diplomatic works as well, said TEVDA executive Munsur Dersim who told the followings;
Besides meeting the water and electiricty needs of the people in the camps, our Assembly also opened schools for children which enabled them to get to know their history, culture, faith and mother language. In addition, we opened academies to advance the self-organization of women, children and youths in Shengal, and dealth with the health problems of the people. In cooperation with the Cizîrê Canton, we enabled doctors to come to Shengal for weekly health checkup. We also performed diplomatic works to help the world know about the Êzîdî faith and culture. A member of the Assembly is currently engaged in diplomatic works in Europe.”
BITTER BALANCE-SHEET OF WAR
As the bitter details of the genocide started coming out, Shengal Êzîdî Assembly for Construction revealed the results of the massacre in Shengal and its villages, an area housing 500 thousand people.
According to the figures compiled and shared by the Assembly,
Before the ISIS attacks began, some 500 thousand people were living in Shengal in over 170 villages, 12 sub-districts and 3 towns.
Among these people, 3,161 were martyred in the Shengal Genocide.
15, 450 were taken captive by ISIS and among these 2,789 managed to flee captivity.
The rest is either still being held by ISIS or was martyred under captivity.
As many as 20 thousand people are living in Mount Sinjar now.
More than 460 people migrated.”
114 FREEDOM FIGHTERS MARTYRED
As the fight goes on, Shengal Resistance Forces (HPG, YJA Star, YBŞ, YPJ Shengal) have been engaged in more than 420 armed confrontations with ISIS gangs.
1094 members of ISIS gangs were killed and 326 others were wounded in clashes.
114 fighters from Shengal Resistance Forces fell martyr in this battle.