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Yazidi leaders urge world to prevent genocide at hands of Turkey

They wore special clothing for the event in Lalish, EPA

Yazidi politician Merwan Bedel was killed by Turkey as revenge for the defeat of Isis in Shengal, co-chair of the regions autonomous administration Rihem Hesen has told the Morning Star.

She accused Turkey of continuing where the jihadists had left off, slamming the international community for its silence over another attempted genocide of the Yazidis.

Speaking exclusively to the Star, the Yazidi leader said that Turkey had declared a war on her people with the deliberate bombing of political institutions and the extrajudicial execution of elected officials.

Mr Bedel was killed when the car he was travelling in with his two young children was struck in a missile attack close to a school in Shengal.

Local media attempted to justify the bombing by claiming he was a military commander with the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a role he relinquished in the summer when he was elected as co-chairman of the regional autonomous administration.

He played a leading role in the resistance as Isis took control of Shengal in 2014, massacring thousands of Yazidi men and boys and selling thousands of women and girls into sexual slavery, many of whom remain missing.

Mr Bedel helped organise the Yazidis as they fled to the Sinjar mountains where they were held under siege by Isis until their eventual liberation by the Kurdistan Workers Party.

Turkey has intensified its attacks on Shengal where it has been accused of a string of war crimes and preventing the return of thousands of displaced Yazidis.

YBS commander Seid Hesen was killed after his convoy was struck while on his way to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi in August.

Just days later eight people, including four health workers, were killed in Turkish air strikes on a hospital in Shengal.

But despite this, the United Nations and the international community have remained silent, with Ms Hesen saying this makes them complicit with Turkey’s genocidal attacks.

“Why are people like Marwan Bedel, Seid Hesen and Zerdest Sengali targeted by the Turkish state? Of course this is Isis’s revenge,” she said.

She was adamant that Turkey would not extinguish the Yazidi goal of “a free and independent Sinjar” and said her people “will never back down.”

“Achieving the rights of our people, which is also the autonomy of Sinjar, is our aim,” Ms Hesen said.

“Whatever the cost, we will continue to follow in the footsteps of our martyrs who gave their lives on the path to autonomous Sinjar.”


(c) 2021, Morning Star

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