Yezidi families enduring dire winter conditions on Mount Sinjar

"These families left their homes and lands during the ISIS attack in 2014, and their houses were destroyed in the war and attacks."
Yezidi families are stuck in tents covered in snow (Photo: Murad Ismael/Twitter).
Yezidi families are stuck in tents covered in snow (Photo: Murad Ismael/Twitter).

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi MP and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) spokesperson Vian Dakhil warned on Friday that 700 Yezidi families in the Sardast Camp on Mount Sinjar are in a critical situation

"These families left their homes and lands during the ISIS attack in 2014, and their houses were destroyed in the war and attacks (by ISIS) and (they) were left without shelter and forced to move to the Sardasht area of Mount Sinjar," the prominent Yezidi politician said in a statement.

She added that their tents are now covered in snow and they are suffering from the deadly cold and winds. Moreover, they lack heating oil, food, and winter clothing.

She called on the international and local organizations, the Iraqi government, and the Nineveh (Mosul) administration to take action for these hundreds of families. 

Murad Ismael, president and co-founder of the Sinjar Academy, said that tents covered in snow are home to displaced Yazidi families on top of Mount Sinjar.

"Nearly 60 percent of the Yazidi (Yezidi) community in Iraq lives in such tents," he tweeted on Thursday.

Dakhil also called on Baghdad and Erbil to implement the Sinjar Agreement.

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

One of the plan's major provisions of the Sinjar Agreement, reached between the federal government of Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil back in October 2020, calls for the removal of all armed groups that operate in the embattled district.

ISIS subjected Yezidis of Sinjar to a campaign of genocide beginning in August 2014. Thousands were killed hundreds of thousands more displaced from their homeland. Most fled to the autonomous Kurdistan Region, while others resettled in neighboring countries or the West.

Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they experienced atrocities and mass executions at the hands of ISIS for years. Militants kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed scores of men, and abused, sold, and trafficked women across areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.

Before that horrific atrocity, roughly 550,000 Yezidis lived in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

The Sinjar Agreement aims to address security, civil administration, reconstruction, and service rehabilitation in the region so the many displaced Yezidi families can safely return and resettle in their homeland.

Over a year after its signing, the agreement remains unimplemented.