Yazidis burning, looting homes in Sinjar as retribution: report

Yazidis burning, looting homes in Sinjar as retribution: report
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Published November 18th, 2015 - 16:30 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The peshmerga forces, an Iraqi-Kurdish militia active in northern Iraq, have become an important partner of Western governments fighting Daesh in the region. (AFP/File)
The peshmerga forces, an Iraqi-Kurdish militia active in northern Iraq, have become an important partner of Western governments fighting Daesh in the region. (AFP/File)
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Earlier this week, the formerly Daesh-controlled town of Sinjar was retaken by the Iraqi-Kurdish forces with the aid of US airstrikes. While the operation was celebrated as a success, NPR reports that Yazidis in the city are now looting and burning Muslim homes in the town.

Situated in the northern region of Iraq, Sinjar had been under Daesh (ISIS) control since August 2014 until last week's offensive. The Yazidis, an Iraqi-Kurdish group in the region have been specifically targeted by Daesh for their faith in what many consider to be a genocide. Stories have been recounted of rape, enslavement, and mass killings during the year that Daesh controlled the town, and a reported 2,000 Yazidis had been killed under the occupation.

This week, Kurdish forces discovered a mass grave filled with over 75 women, corroborating some of the horrors that Yazidis have been detailing over the past year. Some from the Kurdish minority remember Muslims in the community aiding Daesh in identifying Yazidi families. Now that Sinjar has been liberated, Muslims are fleeing the town in fear of retribution for the actions of Daesh.

NPR relates that mosques are being burned down in Sinjar and Yazidis have been burning and looting abandoned Muslim homes in what some Yazidis see as retaliation for the suffering and degradation that they endured under Daesh control. A large portion of the peshmerga forces who led the offensive in Sinjar are Yazidis from the town who are also participating in the raids. 

As displaced Yazidis from Sinjar return to their destroyed homes and businesses to reclaim their lives, they must not only deal with the danger left behind by Daesh in the form of mines and bombs, but also with the question of how to rebuild their lives and community.

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