Interview with YPG Spokesman Polat Can about Yezidi People in Sinjar

 We discussed the latest conditions in Sinjar with the Spokesman of YPG Forces in Sinjar Polat Can and some media reports that the YPG hindered a US military operation.

Polat Cano

Mr. Can, what are the conditions like in Sinjar? What happened to the Yezidis that were left behind?

The latest situation in Sinjar is as you know it, and the clashes taking place in the Rabia area are continuing. Up to this point we did not allow ISIS to capture Rabia. The real aim of the fight we’ve put up in Sinjar , Rabia and Sinun is to defend the people that are trapped in the Sinjar area, and to protect and rescue them of course.

We are putting up a great resistance in Rabia and Sinun, these two areas are two important central points.

Especially Rabia, it is a strategically central location because its ‘gates’ open right in-between Sinjar and Rojava, and in the same way it can also lead to South Kurdistan. In order to complete their encirclement of Sinjar, ISIS is attempting to seize Rabia. This way they want to cut-off Sinjar’s communication from the rest of the world and completely detach her from Kurdistan. Many large scale clashes took place and a lot of ISIS members were killed. Some of our friends were martyred. There are still violent clashes in the Sinun region. If you ask why Sinun and Rabia are such important zones, its because the security corridor that the YPG established is right here in between Sinjar and Rojava . Because of this, ISIS are attacking here with all their forces and want to take this area under their control. However, with the resistance we have started this month and which we are continuing, we would like to hold on to these places.

YPG Spokesman Polat Can and Peshmerga Commanders in Rabia, Mosul

If we want to address the Sinjar region, it was as the United Kurdish Forces Hezen Hevbeş yên Kurdistani (HHK) that we made a statement. I want to highlight this. The Sinjar Mountain is completely under the control of the United Kurdish Forces.

“FOR NOW, THERE ARE NO KURDISH CIVILIANS IN DANGER ON THE SINJAR MOUNTAIN”

These United Kurdish Forces, who are they, who do they consist off?

YPG, HPG, Yekineyen Berxwedana Şengale (Şengal Resistance Units) and a small part our Peshmerga brothers. These forces are fighting in coordination together and have complete control over the Sinjar area. All the Yezidis that had fled or were in hiding have been reached. Some of them have crossed over to Rojava.

Our forces moved to Mount Sinjar soon after the arrival of civilians fleeing ISIS. Later on, PKK fighters coming from Qandil Mountains also joined us. We escorted Yazidi Kurds down from the mountain and into safety in Rojava. With the help of the YPG, United Kurdish Forces and the Jazira Canton, more than 220,000 Yezidis have crossed over to Rojava, some have decided to cross over to South [Iraqi] Kurdistan from Feshkhabur via this safe passage we provided. Some 30,000 Yazidi Kurds are still in Rojava, and half of them are staying in Newroz Camp in Derik which was prepared by the local Kurdish administration, some others in cities like Amude and Tirbesipi. Presently we are not aware of any Kurds that are in danger on Mount Sinjar.

“SOME HAVE JOINED ISIS FROM THE IRAQI ARMY”

As the YPG, what do you think has made ISIS so effective? Specialists are claiming that ISIS does not have many supporters, so how does such a group organise large scale and simultaneous attacks?

Let’s put it this way, some Iraqi soldiers, especially Sunni ones, all work for ISIS. We want this to be known. The recent attacks on Sinjar was not only by ISIS, but also by Arabs from the villages neighbouring Sinjar. Many Arabs in Sinjar that were claiming to be the “friends of Kurds” are taking part in these attacks. The Arabs in these areas who are supposedly the neighbours and relatives of Kurds, are now joining ISIS. Those who were promoting Arab chauvinism are fighting in Mosul and Tikrit today against the Kurds, and they are increasing in numbers. Especially those who joined from the Iraqi army, their membership meant new weapons for ISIS, and naturally, this made them stronger.

Furthermore, because ISIS believe looting to be halal, those who joined them did so with the excuse that they were attacking the properties of infidels, but they stole the property and assets of our people.

As you know,  US announced that there was no need for a rescue mission. According to your sources, how many people are stranded on the mountains and in what condition are they?

The Kurds who are on the mountain are the Kurds who have refused to leave Sinjar. ISIS wasn’t able to enter every village and some of the ones they did manage to enter, we took back in a day. The holy places of the Yezidi people are also under our control; like holy Grave of Sharfaddin. This place is also a target for ISIS however, until now we have not allowed them to get close. Kurds in these villages and the ones currently staying on the security corridor have not left. It is not possible for me to give you an exact number but a large majority of these people are still here.

“THERE ARE KURDS WHO HAVE BEEN CAUGHT IN BETWEEN THIS CONFLICT. WE NEED A SAFETY OPERATION FOR THEM”

How do you evaluate the announcements made by the US administration? And I would like to ask you this, was there any agreements made between your forces and the US forces and was there any co-ordinated joint efforts?

On August 12, we announced the same thing as the Pentagon; that the Kurds in Sinjar Mountain were safe. I would also like to make it known that, according to the information we have received, there are some villages which fall to the south of Sinjar that has been caught in between this war. We also have some people who have fallen into the hands of ISIS, and some who have been kidnapped and are being held hostage. If a military operation is needed, then I believe it should be for these Kurds.

There is news that the village of Kocho is under siege and that the people are being forced to convert to Islam, is this true?

Yes, this is true. These villages exist and they are situated towards the south of Sinjar City. The people that reached the Sinjar Mountain are good, they are in areas we control and free from ISIS. But water, food, medicine and other human necessities you can imagine are needed. Whoever wants to leave can do so with the help of United Kurdish Forces or the Jazira Canton Officials. We help them cross to Rojava or South Kurdistan. For this we requested international support and aid. We also asked the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government for help in providing aid for these people. We requested doctors, we also requested for the wounded and the ill to be transferred and treated. I will repeat it again, we need humanitarian support.

“WE HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UK AND THE USA”

I would like to ask you about your relationship with the USA. According to reports by some newspapers, the YPG hindered the US forces which caused altercations between YPG and the US, but then tensions were eased by the intervention of the Peshmerga. What actually happened?

It’s a complete lie and has been fabricated to create propaganda as no such thing occurred. We have a good relationship with both the US and the UK. Infact, with our help on the ground their helicopters delivered a lot of aid. We do not need to mention names of the officials that we are meeting, but there is no problem between us. All news in regards to this has no basis.

***

For updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq follow me on Twitter: @mutludc

For feedback, question and interview requests: mciviroglu@gmail.com or +1202-241-0506

How Kurdish YPG Has Successfully Fought Off the Islamic State

YPG_1

         Female YPG fighters

As the Islamic State has continued its shocking military advances throughout Syria and Iraq recently, much has been written about its seemingly unstoppable battle capabilities.

But there’s one force that has scored a number of successes against its forces: the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

Fierce battles are raging between the Islamic State and the Kurds on several fronts extending from the Syrian border town of Rabia to Sinjar and, further south, from Kirkuk to Jalawla. The Sunni militants have been defeating reputable Kurdish peshmergas in some important battles, forcing them to withdraw.

***

To read the rest of the article, please visit the following link at Vice:

https://news.vice.com/article/how-kurdish-militias-have-successfully-fought-off-the-islamic-state

Yezidi Demonstration in Front of the White House

photo 1

Yezidi community in Washington, DC and their non-Yezidi Kurdish brethren held a demonstration in front of the White House on August 9, 2014 to demand more help from President Obama.

***

photo 3

***

Who Are Yezidis? Yezidis, who refer to themselves as Ezidis, are a Kurdish non-Muslim population living predominantly in the Sinjar (Şengal) region near Mosul. A sizable Yezidi population also lives in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Sheikhan, where the most important Yezidi holy site Lalesh is located.

In Turkey, small numbers of Yezidis live in Batman, Sanliurfa, Mardin, and Diyarbakir. Others live in Syria, Armenia, Georgia, as well as Europe, Canada and the United States. Yezidi religious traditions, including prayers and holy books, are administered in the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish. In recent years especially, the Yezidis have been accepted as an important element of the broader Kurdish identity.

Şêx Mûrşid Maşûq Xeznewî ser Rewşa Kurdên Êzîdî Dipeyîve

photo 4

Sheikh Murshid Mashuq Khaznawi, a prominent Syrian Kurdish religious leader, in a speech in Oslo, Norway calls for full solidarity and support for Yezidi Kurds.

Khaznawi condemns massacres ISIS commit against Yezidi Kurds and denounce its interpretation of the Islam

***

( Video by Aldar Doskî )

Yezidi Demonstration in Washington, DC

photo 3

***

Yezidi Children and Women Arrive Rojava

Ezidi_Girl_Rojava

A group up of Yezidi children and elderly women arrive in Kurdish Syria known as Rojava after Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) open a safe way for them.

These women tell how their beloved ones remained behind and they were without food and water for days in  tearful eyes

***

Yezidi Demonstrations in Washington, DC & North American Cities

Yezidi Community in Washington, DC and some other cities will hold a some rallies to draw attention to critical situation of thousands of Yezidi children, women and elderly who are stranded in mountains.

Yezidi_Kurds

***

A group of devastated Yezidi women who safely arrived Kurdstan of  Syria, Rojava speaks about the catastrophic situation of Yezidi civilians in Sinjar Region who fled from ISIS

***

Video- US Humanitarian Air Drop over Sinjar Mountains where thousands of Yezidi people are still trapped

***

***

Washington, DC

August 9 between 11:00am to 3:00pm

In Front of the White House

 

***

Toronto

August 9 between 12:00am to 3:00pm

Dundas Square

 

**

Atlanta

August 9 between 4:00pm to 6:00pm

In front of CNN Center

 

***

Ottawa

August 11 between 10:00am to 12:00pm

In Front of Canadian Parliament

***

mutciv@gmail.com +1202-2410506

 

President Obama’s Full Statement on the Iraq Crisis

President ObamaGood evening. Today I authorized two operations in Iraq — targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death. Let me explain the actions we’re taking and why.

First, I said in June — as the terrorist group ISIL began an advance across Iraq — that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it. In recent days, these terrorists have continued to move across Iraq, and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.

To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city. We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.

Second, at the request of the Iraqi government — we’ve begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain. As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis. And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect. Countless Iraqis have been displaced. And chilling reports describe ISIL militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yezidi women.

In recent days, Yezidi women, men and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives. And thousands — perhaps tens of thousands — are now hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs. They’re without food, they’re without water. People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yezidi people, which would constitute genocide. So these innocent families are faced with a horrible choice: descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger.

I’ve said before, the United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world. So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now. When we face a situation like we do on that mountain — with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help — in this case, a request from the Iraqi government — and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.

I’ve, therefore, authorized targeted airstrikes, if necessary, to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there. Already, American aircraft have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help these desperate men, women and children survive. Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, “There is no one coming to help.” Well today, America is coming to help. We’re also consulting with other countries — and the United Nations — who have called for action to address this humanitarian crisis.

I know that many of you are rightly concerned about any American military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these. I understand that. I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that’s what we’ve done. As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq. The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces.

However, we can and should support moderate forces who can bring stability to Iraq. So even as we carry out these two missions, we will continue to pursue a broader strategy that empowers Iraqis to confront this crisis. Iraqi leaders need to come together and forge a new government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis, and that can fight back against the threats like ISIL. Iraqis have named a new President, a new Speaker of Parliament, and are seeking consensus on a new Prime Minister. This is the progress that needs to continue in order to reverse the momentum of the terrorists who prey on Iraq’s divisions.

Once Iraq has a new government, the United States will work with it and other countries in the region to provide increased support to deal with this humanitarian crisis and counterterrorism challenge. None of Iraq’s neighbors have an interest in this terrible suffering or instability.

And so we’ll continue to work with our friends and allies to help refugees get the shelter and food and water they so desperately need, and to help Iraqis push back against ISIL. The several hundred American advisors that I ordered to Iraq will continue to assess what more we can do to help train, advise and support Iraqi forces going forward. And just as I consulted Congress on the decisions I made today, we will continue to do so going forward.

My fellow Americans, the world is confronted by many challenges. And while America has never been able to right every wrong, America has made the world a more secure and prosperous place. And our leadership is necessary to underwrite the global security and prosperity that our children and our grandchildren will depend upon. We do so by adhering to a set of core principles. We do whatever is necessary to protect our people. We support our allies when they’re in danger. We lead coalitions of countries to uphold international norms. And we strive to stay true to the fundamental values — the desire to live with basic freedom and dignity — that is common to human beings wherever they are. That’s why people all over the world look to the United States of America to lead. And that’s why we do it.

So let me close by assuring you that there is no decision that I take more seriously than the use of military force. Over the last several years, we have brought the vast majority of our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’ve been careful to resist calls to turn time and again to our military, because America has other tools in our arsenal than our military. We can also lead with the power of our diplomacy, our economy, and our ideals.

But when the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action. That’s my responsibility as Commander-in-Chief. And when many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out, and we have the capacity to do something about it, we will take action. That is our responsibility as Americans. That’s a hallmark of American leadership. That’s who we are.

So tonight, we give thanks to our men and women in uniform — especially our brave pilots and crews over Iraq who are protecting our fellow Americans and saving the lives of so many men, women and children that they will never meet. They represent American leadership at its best. As a nation, we should be proud of them, and of our country’s enduring commitment to uphold our own security and the dignity of our fellow human beings.

God bless our Armed Forces, and God bless the United States of America.

***

President Obama’s Statement on Iraq

ISIS Ultimatum to Yezidi People: Convert or Be Killed

Yezidi Civilians
Iraqi Kurdistan is the northern part of Iraq and the most stable area, where minorities are protected and women play a high role in society.
 ***
Click for the brief video of TakePart Live show:
***
***
Yezidi Civilians1
ISIS invaded Shinjar to target non-Muslim Kurds. Kurdish women have been raped, murdered, and sold as sex slaves. ISIS refers to them as infidels, with the option to convert to Islam or be killed.
***
Kurds have only basic weapons to protect themselves, but ISIS uses American weapons to kill Kurds.
***

 

Original link: https://www.takepart.com/video/2014/08/06/isis-ultimatum-kurdish-women-convert-or-be-killed

For  questions, feedback and interview requests: mutciv@gmail.com         +1202-241-0506

Rojava’ya Ulaşan Şengal Ezidilerin Durumu Ne?

Xemgin_Çîyayî

Rojavali Kürt gazeteci Xemgîn Çîyayî ile Rojava’nın Dêrîk’e şehrine ulaşan Ezidilerin durumunu görüştük

***

Son birkaç gündür Kürt Ezidiler IŞİD’in vahşice saldırılarına maruz kalıyorlar. Birçok kişinin orda mahsur kaldığı, aç ve susuz bir şekilde bekledikleri bilgisi geliyor. Bazıları Rojava’ya sığınmayı başarabildiler. Siz de Dêrîk’e, Rojava’ya sığınan bu insanları görmeye gittiniz. Dêrik’ten neler aktaracaksınız bize, Rojava’ya sığınan Ezidilerin son durumu ne?

Son üç gün içerisinde Şengal’deki IŞİD saldılarından kaçıp kurtulabilen birçok Ezidi Rojava’ya sığındı. Çoğu Tilkoçer tarafından Rojava’ya geçiyorlar, bazıları da Ceza tarafından geçiyorlar. Birçok kişi daha bir sürü Ezidi’nin dağların arasında mahsur kaldığını söylüyor. Çocuklarının katledildiklerini, kadınlarının tacize uğradıklarını belirtiyorlar. Gerçekten de kaçıp kurtulan insanlar da çok zor durumdalar, suya, gıdaya ve tıbbi malzemelere ihtiyaçları var. Yaşam kaynaklarının hemen hemen hepsinden yoksunlar. Özel arabasıyla kaçıp kurtulabilenler zaten Rojava’ya sığınıyorlar. Bu imkânları olmayan insanlar da yürüyerek Rojava’ya ulaşmaya çalışıyorlar. Sınıra ulaşınca da bayılıp düşüyorlar. Çünkü sınıra ulaşana kadar yaklaşık 40-50 km yürüyorlar. Ki çoğu çıplak ayakla kaçmış durumda, her şeyi bırakıp kaçmışlar.

10582238_681841081897837_1661223779_n

Yürüyerek 40 50 km kaçan bu insanların sağlık durumları ne peki? Yaralılar var mıydı?

Son üç gündür Suriye – Irak arasındaki sınırda diyelim, çok şiddetli çatışmalar yaşanıyor. Özellikle de Mahmudiye ve Rabia şehirlerinde, Şengal’e uzanan yere kadar çok şiddetli çatışmalar var. Şengal’de kalan insanlara telefon ile ulaştık, Pêşmerge, YPG ve HPG’nin birlikte ortak bir güç oluşturduklarını söylüyorlar. Bu güç Şengal taraflarında dört bir yandan savaşıp saldırıları püskürtmeye çalışıyor. Bu şekilde dağlarda mahsur kalan yaklaşık 15000 kişi için Rojava’ya sığınabilecekleri bir yol açılacak. Şengal yakınlarındaki köylerde de birçok insan mahsur kalmış, top ve silah seslerinden dolayı dışarı çıkamıyorlardı. YPG o köylere ulaştı ve bu insanları Rojava tarafına geçirmeye çalışıyor. Bunun için de her saat başı beş altı araba ya da yürüyerek yüzer kişi Rojava’ya ulaşıyorlar.

Rojava Kürtleri çok zor şartlar altında oraya ulaşan insanlara nasıl yardım ediyorlar?

Cezire Kantonu ilk günden beri bu işleri takip edecek özel bir grup oluşturmuş. İnsanlar ve hükümet iki şekilde yardım ediyorlar: Birincisi kaçan insanlara araba temin ediliyor, Tirbêsipî, Qamişlo, Dêrik’te arabası olan herkes sınıra gidip bu insanlara yardım ediyorlar. Kaçan insanlar nereye yerleşmek isterlerse onları oraya götürüyorlar. Eğer isterlerse Dêrik’teki Newroz Kampı’na götürüyorlar, yine Güney Kürdistan’a dönmek istediklerinde de Sêmalka’daki sınır kapısına götürülüyorlar. İkincisi de bu insanlara su ve yemek gibi temel yaşam malzemeleri temin edilmiş durumda. Yine hükümet kimi uluslararası yardım kuruluşları ile de ortak çalışmalar yürütülmeye çalışıyor.

Hangi ulusları yardım kuruluşları bunlar?

Bunlardan biri Uluslararası Yardım Komitesi (IRC) diğeri de Uluslararası Yardım ve Kalkınma Teşkilatı (IRD). Özellikle Sınır Tanımayan Doktorlar Örgütü de sağlık konusunda her türlü hizmeti yapıyor. Yine yerel kuruluşlar da her türlü imkânı sağlamaya çalışıyor, Kürt Kızılayı’nın ambulansları da her tarafta hazır konumda bekletiliyor. Tilkoçer ve diğer bölgelerde yaralılara hemen ilk müdahaleyi yapmak için tüm hazırlıklarını tamamlamış bulunuyorlar.

Peki, kaçıp kurtulan Ezidiler arasında gezerken neler gözlemlediniz? Onlarla neler konuştunuz, neler hissettiniz?

Onlara birçok soru sormaya çalıştım fakat birçoğu konuşmaktan çekiniyor. Saldırıları, kalanları, ölenleri öğrenmeye çalıştım ama ‘’ne söylesek de bir anlamı yok’’ deyip kısa kestiler. Bir şekilde konuşturmaya çalıştığımız insanlar da ne yazık ki Peşmerge’nin savaşmadığını söylediler. Daha ilginci savaşmak için Peşmergelerden savaşmak için silah istediklerini fakat Peşmergelerin silah vermediğini belirttiler. Yine onların aktardığı bilgilere göre Peşmerge saldırılardan iki gün önce onların elindeki silahlara da el koymuş. Sadece köylerde ve dağlarda kalan insanların silahları ellerinde kalmış. Genel olarak oradan kaçan Peşmerge güçlerine karşı büyük bir tepkileri vardı. Yine 50 yaşlarında bir adam ağlayarak Peşmergeden savaşmak için silah istediğini fakat Peşmergenin silah vermek yerine ona silah doğrulttuğunu ve alınan bir kararla oradan ayrıldıklarını söylüyordu.

Birçok defa Rojava Kürtlerinin Irak Kürdistan’ına doğru gittiklerini gördük, bu sefer tam tersi bir şey oldu. Rojava halkı Ezidi Kürtleri nasıl karşılıyor?

Bugün ne kadar anlatsak da gördüğümüz şeyin net bir fotoğrafını çekemeyiz. Birçok defa Kürt güçleri arasında çeşitli anlaşmazlıklar oldu. Rojavalı yaralıların Güney Kürdistan’a geçmesine izin vermiyorlardı. Birçok defa sınırı kapattılar, en son da hendek kazdılar. Bugün öyle yapanlar kaçmak için kendileri o hendekleri kapatmak zorunda kaldılar. Rojava halkı, özellikle de Tirbêsipî’deki halk kucak açtı onlara, çünkü orada da Ezidiler yaşıyor. Şengal’den gelen 400-500 kişiyi evlerinin kapılarını açtılar. Tirbêsipî’den Dêrik’e kadar her yerde herkes kardeşlerini iyi karşılıyor, yardım ediyor. Su getiren, buz getiren, karpuz getiren, kimin gücü neye yetiyorsa herkes bir şeyler kaçıp kurtulan bu insanlara sunuyor. Yine gözlemlediğim bir şey de insanlar kaçarken arabası bozulan Ezidilerin arabalarını kendi imkânlarıyla tamir etmeye çalışıyorlardı. Gerçekten bu Kürt milletine yakışan yardımseverlik ve konukseverlik, gerçek Kürt ruhunu bu dayanışmada görmek mümkün.