Posted on August 8, 2016 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Politics, Yazidis
Peshmerga Minister Mustafa Said Qadir. Photo: AFP
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— An advisor to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Peshmerga called for 14 members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to receive the death penalty amid an exchange of accusations between members of the Change Movement (Gorran) and the KDP, each claiming the other party was reckless in leaving the Yazidi Sinjar [Shingal] area in Iraq’s northwest to the Islamic State (IS) in August, 2014.
Courts in the Kurdistan Region have not yet issued a response to the case of Sinjar since the area was regained from IS militants.
Islamic State group has captured most parts of Sinjar district, west of Mosul on August 3, 2014 after Iraqi Kurdish KDP Peshmerga forces withdrew from Sinjar without a fight, leaving behind the Kurdish Yazidi civilians, which led thousands of Kurdish families to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped in it and suffered from significant lack of water and food, killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidis as well as rape and captivity of thousands of women.
The KDP Peshmerga are blamed for their abandonment of Sinjar in the hours before IS launched their attack. Many Yazidis lost faith in KDP and its leader Massoud Barzani when its forces failed to protect them from Islamic State militants.
On the anniversary of the recapture of Sinjar, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, KDP member Vian Dakhil, told NRT that Peshmerga Minister Mustafa Said Qadir should be summoned over the case of Sinjar.
“The Peshmerga Minister [dismissed in October 2015] must be summoned to Sinjar because he left Sinjar,” Dakhil said. “Why has the Peshmerga Minister not received the death penalty so far?”
Following Dakhil’s statement, Gorran members in the Ministry of Peshmerga responded to the KDP member through Said Kakaiy, the advisor to the Peshmerga Minister.
Kakaiy told NRT on Sunday that KDP forces, not Peshmerga forces, were inside Sinjar.
“The Minister of Peshmerga is not at all responsible for the forces which were there,” Kakaiy said. “He was only responsible for 14 brigades, which are in the ministry. A Peshmerga who was in the Ministry of Peshmerga was not there but KDP fighters were there.”
Kakaiy said KDP fighters had left the frontline to the IS militants and added they did not defend the civilians in Sinjar.
Gorran members in the Ministry of Peshmerga released the names of 14 KDP members who they say left Sinjar. “If there is law, they must be summoned over Sinjar Mountain and they must be shot to death there,” the Gorran members said.
KDP Leader Masoud Barzani, who is also the Kurdistan Region’s Commander in Chief of the Kurdish forces, was among the 14 names released by the Gorran members.
Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq said last week that those who acted irresponsibly and failed to protect Yazidi civilians from the massacre in Sinjar must beprosecuted.
The IS attack on Sinjar sent thousands fleeing from the militants and set-off a humanitarian crisis on Sinjar Mountain, where many of the town’s Yazidi residents sought refuge.
As many as 360,000 were displaced following the 2014 attacks and an estimated 1,200 others were killed during the militants’ rampage.
IS militants managed to kidnap over 6,400 others, including 3,538 women, who have been the focus of rescue efforts.
Of around 5,000 Yazidi women captured by the jihadi militants in the summer of 2014, some 2,000 have managed to escape or been smuggled out of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, activists say. The Yazidi women are forced into sex slavery and are subjected to systematic rape.