Turkish airstrike targets Yezidi armed group in Iraq’s disputed Sinjar

The disputed Iraqi city of Sinjar (Shingal). (Photo: Archive)
The disputed Iraqi city of Sinjar (Shingal). (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Turkish airstrike on Thursday evening targeted a position of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) in Iraq’s disputed Yezidi(Ezidi)-majority district of Sinjar (Shingal).

The Yezidi-focused Ezidipress website wrote in a tweet that the airstrike took place on the western Shingal outskirts, near the village of Bara.

“The target was apparently a checkpoint of the #Ezidi (Yezidi) Resistance Units of Shingal,” the site said.

The number and extent of casualties are not yet clear.

The YBS consists of members of the Yezidi religious minority group and is seen as close associates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has led a decades-long insurgency against Ankara for Kurdish rights in Turkey.

In mid-August, Turkey carried out airstrikes for two days in a row in which civilians and YBS members were killed in Turkish airstrikes also in Sinjar.

On Monday, Iraq's National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji said that a stalled agreement between Baghdad and Erbil reached in late 2020 to bring security, services, and normalcy to the disputed district of Sinjar (Shingal), is "respectful and fair" and was "signed to be implemented, not hindered.

Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced in October that they had reached an agreement to restore security and administrative order in Sinjar, where various competing armed groups remain active.

Read More: KRG and Baghdad reach administrative, security agreement on Sinjar

The federal government says that it has implemented a large part of the Sinjar Agreement, but the KRG has said that it considers everything that has so far taken place a "formality" in light of the non-withdrawal of irregular forces from the city, without which little can progress.

Araji said in a panel discussion held in Baghdad that the Sinjar Agreement is "respectful and fair," and "although it will not satisfy everyone 100 percent," it was "signed to be implemented, not hindered."