News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) – whose Peshmerga forces abandoned Şengal (Sinjar) in the face of ISIS attacks last summer with almost no resistance and thereby opened the road to the massacre of local Yezidis by ISIS – is now voicing its strident opposition to the formation of an autonomous Yezidi parliament, according to an article from Özgür Gündem. The KDP, which has has announced that it will not recognize the political will of the Yezidis, characterized attempts to establish local autonomy for Şengal as ‘divisive.’
KDP Opposes Yezidi Assembly
The KDP opposed the meeting of Yezidi community leaders which took place in the Şengal mountains on January 14th. The meeting was attended by 200 delegates from around Şengal and the Newroz camp in Rojava. Following the meeting the KDP parliamentary group called it ‘an attempt to divide the country’ and threatened the Yezidi community, saying that it would not remain silent in the face of such policies.
The KDP parliamentary group released a written statement which read: “Şengal is an injured but unalienable part of the national body. Our country is in a state of war with a destructive and inhumane enemy like ISIS. The heroic peshmerga forces are struggling with the support of world opinion and the solidarity of the four parts of Kurdistan against this common enemy. Unfortunately during this sensitive period the PKK is attempting to bring these illegitimate demands to the table, discounting all the laws and organizations in the Kurdistan region and disrespecting the will of the people who have suffered such injustices.”
Once more the KRG’s Council of Ministers released a written statement in which they noted that Şengal is still a disputed region according to the 140th article of the Iraqi Constitution and while recalling that the PKK had worked to protect Yezidis from ISIS attacks, accused the PKK of interfering with the internal affairs of the KRG.
The Fugitive Commander Speaks
Kasim Şeşo – the former Peshmerga commander in Şengal who ordered the confiscation of all weapons from the hands of local Yezidis and later fled in the face of ISIS attacks- spoke to AA, saying “the decision the PKK will take is not legitimate. Any attempt by the the PKK to declare a new canton would be a betrayal of Şengal.”
As ISIS advanced on Şengal KDP Peshmerga forces fled with their weapons and left the local Yezidi population without any form of protection or weapons with which to defend themselves. Shortly thereafter ISIS began a campaign of genocide against local Yezidis. At this point HPG, YJA-STAR and YPG/YPJ fighters moved into the area, opening a corridor between Rojava and Şengal and thus saving hundreds of thousands of Yezidis, Syriac Christians and Shia Turkmen from a massacre.