Turkey attacked Yazidi forces convoy returning from commemoration of IS genocide

by Meghan Bodette    


Turkish warplanes bombed a Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) convoy in the Shilo valley between Kocho and Mount Sinjar in Yazidi town of Shingal around 5:30 PM Wednesday evening.

The convoy was returning from a commemoration of victims of genocide in Kocho, a city where the Islamic State (IS) massacred and kidnapped Yazidis in 2014. Among the casualties was Zeki Shingali, a senior Yazidi PKK leader who had been among the fighters who saved tens of thousands of Yazidis from IS when Kurdish PKK forces defended Yazidis against IS in 2014.

In a statement issued this morning, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) said that "the attack against our esteemed comrade, Mam Zeki of the Yazidis, is a genocidal attack against Yazidis. It is a continuation of the Yazidi genocide of August 3 by IS ... It has been proven once again that the power and abetter behind the August 3 attack was the Turkish state."

Just days before the attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met to discuss issues including security cooperation. Turkey considers the YBS— which is Yazidiself-defence force composed of local fighters— to be terrorists, and has previously threatened Shingal and the autonomous Yazidi political structures there.

The PKK withdrew from the region earlier this year to lessen the chances of Turkish attacks. The Iraqi government and the United States appear to have given tacit approval for bombings to proceed, as they have done with Turkish attacks on the PKK in South Kurdistan.