News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Villagers in the predominantly Yezidi region of Şengal (Sinjar) in Southern Kurdistan have taken up arms against the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), according to a report by Hayri Kızıler from ANF and carried in Özgür Gündem.
ISIS fighters advancing on the village of Guhbel were forced to pull back when villagers offered heavy resistance. Having taken up arms to protect their homes and fields, the villages are standing guard in anticipation of further attacks.
ISIS – which since May 9th has been able to occupy a large region between Selahaddin, Anbar and Diyala without any resistance and to divide the provinces of Mosul from Nineveh – has begun to target Yezidis, Shabaks and Christians in the areas under their control. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from these region have sought safety in regions under KRG control, with tens of thousands fleeing to Şengal alone. However Şengal, which borders areas under ISIS control, is now too under threat.
ISIS, which is widely accused of massacring civilians and other human rights violations, attacked the village of Guhbel in the district of Tilbenat yesterday following another attack on the village of Girzerik.
ISIS attacked the village of Guhbel, 15 km north of Şengal, with motors before moving into the village and destroying three hours and their electric water pumps. Local villagers, who are entirely of the Yezidi faith, rushed to the area to repulse the ISIS attacks. The villagers were also supported by a small number of peşmerge who came to their aid. ISIS was forced to withdraw without a sustained engagement.
According to villagers who spoke to ANF, peşmerge forces are not proving a serious defense deterrent and under such circumstances they have been forced to stand guard in their own fields.
Villagers Request Help From The PKK
The villagers, recalling the statement from PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan, asked the KDP to allow PKK fighters access to defend the area. Karayılan made a statement last month in which he pledged that the PKK was ready to defend Mosul and Kirkuk from ISIS. At the time Karayılan said
“We are ready to defend our people and their gains in the South. It is not clear that no power can defeat us when we have the proper relationship and cooperation. Today our people of the South are facing the threat of ISIS attacks. The HPG is the force that is able to fight back against these attacks and to respond to the attacking forces. At this historical stage in order to create the possibilities for guerilla forces to resist together with the peşmerge I want to make this call to the KDP and YNK: I am calling on them to allow HPG forces to participate in the defense of our people particularly around Kirkuk and Sinjar.”