ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) should consider the sensitivity of the situation in Sinjar (Shingal) and act reasonably, said a senior Kurdish official on Monday.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani met with a Yezidi (Ezidi) delegation in Duhok Province, including the leader of the Ezidi community Mir Tahseen Beg, Religious leader of Ezidis Baba Sheikh, members of the Ezidi Council, and other Ezidi intellects of Shingal.
Barzani stated the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was trying to recognize the genocide of Ezidis in Shingal at the international level.
He also said the KRG would increase efforts to rescue the remaining Ezidi people from the Islamic State (IS), especially girls and women, according to the KRG press office.
During the meeting, Barzani noted the KRG would start the campaign of rebuilding the Ezidi-populated and war-torn city of Shingal soon.
However, he mentioned the presence of the PKK armed wings in the area were a barrier for the reconstruction, calling on them to leave the city.
“Our stance, in this case, is very clear. When our brothers in Syria [Syrian Kurdistan] needed our help, we sent Peshmerga forces to help free Kobani [from IS],” Barzani stated.
“When Kobani and other villages around were liberated, they asked us to leave as they said our presence in the area was no longer needed,” Barzani continued.
“We left without imposing ourselves on Kobani,” he added. “We expect them to do the same in Shingal.”
He noted the KRG did not want to fight the armed groups in Shingal, but would not accept the groups to impose themselves on the area forcefully.
Moreover, Beg praised the KRG’s efforts in rescuing Ezidi people and recognizing the genocide against them.
He also hoped the reconstruction of Shingal would start soon so the displaced people could return to their homes.
The PM emphasized Ezidis could be protected in Kurdistan, not abroad and called on them to resume life, culture, and religion, asking them not to leave the Region.
IS occupied Shingal in August 2014 and committed mass executions against the Ezidi people as well as kidnapping, enslaving, and selling their women in markets.
Peshmerga forces with the support of the US-led coalition warplanes liberated Shingal on Nov. 14, 2015.
The city remains largely destroyed as the tension among armed Kurdish groups in the area rises.
So far, the office of the Prime Minister has rescued about 3,000 Ezidi girls and women. However, thousands more remain in the hands of the extremist group.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany