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Sinjar: first images show total devastation


Iraq

Sinjar: first images show total devastation

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The first images from Sinjar show the Iraqi town show scenes of total devastation.

An estimated 200,000 people lived in Sinjar before it was overrun by ISIL fighters in August 2014.

“This is frightening,” said one young Kurdish fighter. “When you look at what Sinjar was and how it is now. The town is in ruins, it is worse that Kobani.”

Sinjar’s 50,000 strong Yazidi population was purged after it was overrun.

Kurdish forces take control

Kurdish leaders say their word is now law, a strong message to other groups in the area and the wider international community.

“Those who did not hurt anyone and did not cooperate with Daesh can return. We do not have an issue with them. But they must live under the flag of Kurdistan and be part of the Kurdish region.” senior Kurdish commander Qassem Shesho told journalists.

The Kurdish forces say more than 5,000 Yazidi citizens of Sinjar were killed by IS, 5,000 taken prisoner and the remaining were killed.

There are fears of further power-struggle fighting between groups in the region.

Sinjar: what we know

  • Sinjar has a key strategic position on Highway 47, the main route linking IS-held Mosul in the east with the group’s de facto capital Raqqa in the west.
  • slamic State had held the town since an offensive in August 2014
  • The population was previously around 200,000 mainly Kurdish and Arab Muslims, both Sunni and Shi’ite, Christians and Yazidis
  • An estimated 50,000 Yazidis fled after Sinjar was overrun and were stranded on nearby Mount Sinjar
  • Yazidis accuse the Sunni Muslim community of collaborating with IS
  • Sinjar has a key strategic position on Highway 47, the main route linking IS-held Mosul in the east with the group’s de facto capital Raqqa in the west.

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