Dimensions of the massacres committed by ISIS gangs in the South Kurdistan city of Sinjar are emerging more clearly as more fearful reports of deaths are coming through from the city.
At least three thousand people have been killed, five thousand abducted and 300 children and elders have died of hunger since the city was occupied by gangs on 3 August .
ISIS gangs notorious for their brutal acts and massacres against the peoples of other beliefs encircled the Sinjar city after the withdrawal of peshmerga forces six days ago.
The same day, West Kurdistan’s YPG (People’s Protection Units) forces sent units to protect the people in the city into which they crossed over the Iraqi town of Rabia 100 km to the city. One day later, YPG fighters reached Sinjar mountains where tens of thousands were stranded under the threat of massacre by radical Islamist and jihadist gangs. The forced migration to the mountains and hills has witnessed a humanitarian tragedy as people have been struggling to survive the lack of water and food after fleeing from their villages where gangs had already started to commit massacres.
On 4 August, HPG (People’s Defence Forces) also sent guerrilla units to the region where guerrillas opened a corridor, enabling thousands of people in mountains to safely reach West Kurdistan. Giving a strong fight against ISIS gangs on one side, guerrillas endeavored on the other side to protect the civilians facing the threat of massacre by the Islamist gangs.
The efforts of the Kurdish fighters could yet not prevent the death of at least 300 children and the elderly because of lack of food and water. Thousands of people have been rescued, according to Kurdish journalists who are in the mountains of Sinjar.
The exact toll of killings in the area by jihadists is not known, but according to a balance sheet compiled from the statements of survivors of the horrific ISIS acts and mass killings, armed forces fighting against gangs and witnesses speaking to local sources, at least 3,000 Yezidis were summarily executed, 5,000 other civilians including hundreds of women were abducted. The fate of those abducted is not known while some are reportedly being held in the Bados town of Mosul.
It is feared that the balance sheet is even heavier. The population of tens of villages in Sinjar is estimated at 500,000 people. Of these, 300 thousand have found refuge in the mountains of Sinjar.
PKK fighters and YPG took control of several villages since August 4, killing dozens of jihadists. They continue to move forward with an aim to liberate the region. Hundreds of Yezidi and Kurdish youth have joined the ranks of the resistance to fight the jihadists.
The PKK also sent reinforcements to Hewler, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, to organize the defense and stop the advance of the jihadists.
In Makhmur, 40 km from Erbil, fighting resumed on August 8 after the arrival of PKK fighters to the front.
In the town of Rabia, on the border with Syria, Syrian Kurdish fighters are conducting clean-up operations. The city is already under the control of YPG which destroyed four tanks and killed at least 24 jihadists on August 7.