Posted on October 15, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kurds in Iraq, Yazidis
Four Kurdish guerrilla fighters make their way through the ruins of Sinjar (Shingal) city, northwest Iraq. Photo: Al Jazeera
SINJAR, Iraq,— Muhammed Xelil, mayor of the Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi city of Shingal (Sinjar), told Sputnik news that the city, liberatedfrom Islamic State (IS) by Kurdish coalition fighters in November 2015, will become an open-air museum, and its residents will live in a new city of the same name.
He said that the authorities had decided to turn the city into a museum so that people know what the jihadists had done to it.
“Sinjar was under Daesh [IS] control for almost a year. During the operation to liberate it some of its parts, especially in the center were severely damaged and became uninhabitable. During their retreat the terrorists set off booby trap mines and bombs they had planted all across the city. So the people of Sinjar said they wanted to build a new city,” Muhammed Xelil said.
He added that Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani supported the idea and so they got down to work.
“We are going to have an open-air museum here to remind people of the crimes committed here by Daesh terrorists. We’ll build a new Sinjar nearby.”
Xelil said that once the construction was over people would start getting back, adding that some of the surrounding villages still remained under Daesh control, but would soon be liberated too.
Sinjar is a city in Iraq’s Mosul Province. In keeping with Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, Sinjar has the status of a disputed territory. Kurdish representatives insist that after the liberation of Mosul Sinjar be declared a province and remain under Kurdish control.
Islamic State group has captured most parts of the Yazidi Sinjar district in northwest Iraq on August 3, 2014 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.
Those who stay behind are subjected to brutal, genocidal acts: thousands killed, hundreds buried alive, and countless acts of rape, kidnapping and enslavement are perpetuated against Yazidi women. To add insult to injury, IS fighters ransack and destroy ancient Yazidi holy sites.
According to Human Rights organizations, thousands of Yazidi Kurdish women and girls have been forced to marry or been sold into sexual slavery by the IS jihadists.
A Yazidi member of Iraqi parliament Vian Dakhil, said in August that 3,770 Kurdish Yazidi women and children still in Islamic State captivity.