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Monday, February 6, 2023

Yazidis In Limbo As Iraqi Forces & Armed Militants Fight in Northern Iraq | Toward Freedom

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300,000 Yazidis left their homes in masse to avoid genocide at the hands of the terrorist organization. Yazidis are an indigenous ethnoreligious group of Kurdistan, which covers portions of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. Many Yazidis assert that they are a religious subgroup of the Kurds, while others deny this affiliation.

Yazidis have been persecuted by Arabs, Persians, Turks, and Sunni Kurds for their religious beliefs for centuries. The Iraqi army, Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) soldiers, and Ezidxane Security Forces engaged in heavy fighting in Sinjar on the 2nd and 3rd of May; This is the second or third time that more than 10,000 people have been forced from their homes due to escalation. Since 2014, 300,000 Yazidi IDPs have migrated to Iraqi Kurdistan. Salah, aged 34, has spent the last three years at the Khanke camp for internally displaced people (IDPs).

Sinjar is located in contested mountainous territory in northern Iraq, under the control of the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish Regional Government. Due to the existence of opposing armed factions, including the Iraqi military, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the local YBS force, and the Popular Mobilization Forces, the security situation in Iraq remains precarious (PMF). The country director for FYF is dissatisfied with the government’s passivity in the region, which has prevented the Yazidis from reconstructing their lives. Khalida Nawaf inferred widespread anxiety among Yazidis that the underlying cycle of conflict may spawn further calamitous catastrophes. Most camp residents still live in tents, making them susceptible to extreme weather conditions and fire threats.

They often have little access to running water, electricity, heating, and sanitation. IDPs depend on the minimum food aid supplied by the KRG and humanitarian agencies. They face difficulties accessing employment that would enable them to meet their basic living costs. Low education levels, missing documentation, and lack of work experience in sectors other than construction and agriculture limit their prospects. Eighty percent of public infrastructure and 70 percent of civilian homes in Sinjar were destroyed during the ISIS occupation.

A recent Norwegian Refugee Council report found ongoing challenges in accessing housing, land, and property rights. NRC urged Baghdad and KRG to prioritize the rehabilitation of infrastructure and the restoration of services.

Source: https://towardfreedom.org/story/archives/west-asia/yazidis-in-limbo-as-iraqi-forces-armed-militants-fight-in-northern-iraq/


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