This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Who Needs Enemies?

MEE -- Hermoine Gee - a Yazidi woman and her child trying to make do on Mount Sinjar for over a year

Who Needs Enemies?

"The PKK are from Turkey, and others are from Syria. We are grateful for their help but once the fight is over [to regain Sinjar], this is our land."
Captain Mohamad Dusky, KDP Seventh Brigade

"We don't consider our forces as external forces. We are Kurds, Sinjar is a Kurdish city. If they [the KDP] want us to leave, where should we go, Europe?"
"The KRG had ten years of administration to prove themselves and they didn't. After the liberation is finished the Yazidi people can administer it [Sinjar] in the way they want."
Amara Aelul, Kurd, from Mardin, eastern Turkey; PKK guerrilla, Sinjar

"We want to be a part of the coalition but unfortunately the KDP peshmerga have not responded positively to accept this offer."
"There is a lack of co-ordination between the different factions. Unfortunately the different groups are largely working for their own party's benefit"
"We've got intelligence that ISIL is weak in Sinjar and that they could be easily defeated. So it's a shame that it hasn't been done already."
Dawud Jundi, deputy commander, Yazidi Sinjar Protection Force

A Yazidi mother and child have been trying to make ends meet on Mount Sinjar for a year (MEE / Hermione Gee) - See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/displaced-yazidis-mount-sinjar-grapple-difficult-conditions-950948060#sthash.f3gI51mR.dpuf

Jealousies, rivalries, dissent and resentment, at a time when collaboration and cooperation is required. On the road between Raqqa and Mosul the two most important cities in Syria and Iraq held in the Islamic State's possession, when Sinjar was captured it represented a symbolic and strategic coup for ISIL. Should ISIL lose Sinjar in a concerted attack using all forces in unison for that single purpose, it would represent a significant setback for the jihadist terrorists.

In fact such an attack has been in the planning stages for quite awhile. It's just not moving forward. The territory on which Sinjar sits is claimed by the autonomous Kurdistan Region, and just incidentally also by the Baghdad federal government. But it has been administered for the past ten years by the Kurds, and it has been home to the minority Yazidis, an minority offshoot of the Kurds, worshipping a peculiar hybrid religion.

When the ISIL forces were advancing in their indomitable style in the summer of 2014, the Kurdish Peshmerga had retreated, leaving the Yazidis without a defence, and the outcome was a dreadful rout, civilians fleeing in panic up the sides of Mount Sinjar, and those caught by the terrorists slaughtered, the women raped and they and children taken as slaves. A rescue mission was mounted to bring the escaped Yazidis suffering from cold, privation and starvation down off the mountain.

But it was the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group originating in and battling with Turkey that organized a corridor from the Syrian border to the mountains to effect a rescue. The Yazidis were gratefully receptive, and remained furious at what they saw as abandonment by the Peshmerga. Leading many Yazidi men to form militias of their own in affiliation with the PKK.

Now, Peshmerga, PKK and Yazidi fighters have gained a foothold near Sinjar town with pressure mounting for the international coalition to mount a victory against ISIL, and all hoping it will be to free the town. The Peshmerga are anxious for the opportunity to restore their pride in liberating the city and they're the only Kurdish group coordinating airstrikes with the international coalition. Sinjar has seen 65 airstrikes carried out by the international coalition in the last two weeks.

The PKK and its associated groups reject national boundaries dividing Kurds, believing their rescue of the Yazidis gives legitimacy to their presence in Iraq. The PKK have nurtured Yazidi anger at the Peshmerga, supplying food and tents to the 1,300 families living on the mountain. The KDP delivers aid as well, though many Yazidi claim aid is given to their supporters preferentially. Leaving many Yazididi to support the PKK.

The Yazidi themselves are divided; some have formed Peshmerga-backed militias, others joining PKK-aligned groups. The issue of who will govern the city once liberation has been achieved, (and the KDP feels it should administer Sinjar from Irbil, the Kurdish capital, though the PKK feels the Yazidis should administer their own affairs) is a hot issue.

The Yazidi community remaining on Mount Sinjar are not looking forward to spending another winter on the mountain. They worry about family members left below in the town they can see from the summit of the mountain they are stranded upon. And they want their town restored to them. The Kurds, from both Syria and Iraq, all of whom have fought so courageously, are inexplicably at odds when adversity should be driving them closer together.

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