The Iraqi government, the Turkish occupation, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party did not like the people of Şengal to organize themselves after the genocide crimes committed against them following ISIS’ attacks in August 2014, and they began planning again to control this strategic area on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The most party seeking to regain control over it is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, driven by the Turkish regime. This party uses Turkish threats as a means to subjugate the residents of the region in order to hand them over to it by repeating Turkish statements that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is there, even though the party has announced the withdrawal of its fighters since April 2016 after it liberated Şengal in November 2015.
Turkey has new and old ambitions to control the region that it sees as part of its Millî Charter and which it lost after World War I, as it considers the governorates of Mosul, Kirkuk, Hewlêr and Sulaymaniyah as part of its defunct empire that it seeks to restore, along with northern Syria.
To this end, Turkey wants to control Şengal due to its strategic location and the presence of mountains for which permanent bases can be established there.
That is why Turkey in cooperation with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which allowed the passage of Turkish tanks and soldiers, amid the silence of the Iraqi government, formed a military base in Bashiqa near Mosul in 2015 under the pretext of participating in the fight against ISIS, against which the Iraqi government was fighting fierce battles in Mosul.
But this base did not fire a single bullet towards ISIS, on the contrary, it played the primary role in directing the movements of ISIS, so politicians say that the task of the Turkish soldiers in Bashiqa is an occupational mission and to restore the glories of an obsolete sultanate.
Accordingly, the Iraqi authorities made the decision in the Autumn of 2016 to remove the Turkish forces from the Bashiqa base, but this has not happened yet. On the contrary, the base has turned into a headquarter where periodic meetings are held between Turkish officers and officials in the Kurdistan Democratic Party and some Sunni and Turkmen leaders working in the interest of implementing Turkey’s agendas in Iraq.
“Xanê Sor attacks”
One of the first plans hatched by Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party sought to implement was to launch attacks on Xanê Sor district in Şengal province.
In February 2017, Masoud Barzani, the Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party visited Turkey and met with Turkish officials who stated that the visit dealt with talks about the conditions of Mosul and Şengal, but the Iraqi government was fighting fierce battles against ISIS in Mosul while the Şengal Resistance Units had liberated Şengal province.
The plan began with statements by the Turkish Prime Minister’s assistant, Veysi Keynak, who said: “If the Peshmerga are unable to get them out of there – Şengal – we will get them out.”
After these statements, the Kurdistan Democratic Party transferred the so-called “Peshmerga Roj” fighters who had received training at the hands of the Turkish intelligence in military bases in the party’s areas of influence to the vicinity of Xanê Sor district, southwest of Şengal.
On Friday, March 3, 2017, at dawn, the Peshmerga Roj, backed by the Zirvani forces of the Democratic Party and the American Hummer vehicles launched an attack on the district in order to control it, and the attackers targeted the Yazidis’ homes in the area, which led to the destruction of a number of homes.
Immediately, the Yazidi mothers went to the trenches that the Roj and Zirvani Peshmerga were digging around the district, but the gunmen of the Democratic Party used weapons against the mothers, and the gunmen targeted the journalists who were covering the events which led to the direct injury of the journalist Nujian Arhan in the head, and her death as a result of her injury in March 23, 2017.
The Kurdish people everywhere from Şengal to Rojava and Başûr rejected the attacks of the KDP militants on Yazidis, and mass demonstrations took place in Başûr, but the Democratic Party authorities faced them with arrest and imprisonment.
On the 7th of March, the gunmen of the Democratic Party used live weapons against the displaced Yazidis residing in Newroz camp, who gathered on the border near Rabia town.
On March 14th, the Democratic Party’s gunmen used weapons against Yazidi mothers from Xanê Sor who went to the trenches of the gunmen surrounding the area and preparing to storm it, which led to martyring the Memberr of the Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement, Nazi Nayef, and wounding two others with live bullets used by the Democriatic Party’s gunmen.
“The bombing of Şengal mountains”
After the failure of Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) plan to besiege Şengal in March, the Turkish occupation itself intervened this time and on April 25, 2017, its aircrafts bombed the Şengal mountains, which led to the martyrdom of a fighter in Şengal Resistance Units. Since that time, Turkey has started using drones to bomb Şengal every now and then, taking advantage of the information provided by the Kurdistan Democratic Party militants.
“The Martyrdom of Mam Zeki Şengali”
Throughout its attacks on the Kurdish people, the Turkish occupation state has been known for its method targeting the vanguard leaders who play a role in organizing and raising the Kurds’ awareness, and Mam Zeki Şengali, the Member of the Yazidi Community Coordinatiion was one of the vanguards who saved the Yazidis from terrorism, becoming a target of the Turkish occupation state.
On August 15, 2018, the car of Mam Zeki Şengali was bombed by a Turkish drone while he was returning from the ceremony of the fourth anniversary of Kuju massacre that ISIS committed in the vicinity of Şengal.
“Targeting the leaders who liberated Şengal from ISIS”
On December 13, 2018, the aircrafts bombed the Gelê Chilo area, killing 3 civilians from Kobane who were working in digging wells.
On November 4, 2019, Turkish occupation’s warplanes bombed Xanê Sor district which led to the injury of two civilians, and they continued to bomb the district until the 19th of the same month which resulted in wounding 5 Protection Forces’ fighters. On the afternoon of November 24th, as a result of the bombing Xanê Sor, 3 fighters of the Şengal Resistance Units were martyred, and the shelling continued until the next day on Bari village.
On January 15, 2019, Turkey attacked Dêgrî village affiliated with Sinuni district, and it led to the martyrdom of the Commander-in-Chief of Şengal Resistance Units, Zerdeşt Şengali, the fighters Hamid Şengali, Şervan Chilo, and Izdin Şengali, in addition to wouding another fighter.
The political and civil organizations and institutions in Şengal confirmed via statements that by its attacks, the Turkish state aims to revive ISIS and take revenge on the forces that exterminted it.
In April, the features of a new scheme began to unfold. On the 15th of April, Turkish warplanes bombed Maxmûr refugee camp, which led to the death of three women of the camp, followed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party sending its forces to the so-called Peshmerga Roj “who were trained by the Turkish intelligence to Zina Wartê area with the aim of besieging the Kurdistan People’s Defense Forces and occupying Qandil. but due to the reaction of the Kurdistan people, the Kurdistan Democratic Party was unable to implement the plan assigned to it.
In early June 2020, the features of the plan began to unfold more and more after the Head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, made a secret visit to Baghdad, during which he met with the Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi, who held the position of Iraqi intelligence previously, in which Iranian security leaders participated.
This visit came within the framework of the military coordination between Iraq, Iran and Turkey which began in August 2017 against the Kurdish people after the Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Masoud Barzani, announced that the independence referendum would be held in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
At that time, the three countries’ chiefs of staff held meetings repeatedly in Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara to discuss how to confront the Kurds.
Although this alliance between Baghdad, Ankara and Tehran was formed to confront the Kurds and Barzani’s scheme failed in the independence referendum, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) engaged with these three countries again against the Kurdish people.
Fidan’s meetings with al-Kazemi and Iranian security leaders focused on how to confront the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Media defense zones as well as the Kurdish forces opposed to Iran in Başûr Kurdistan, in addition to how to eliminate the Kurdish gain achieved in Şengal, and the role that the Kurdistan Democratic Party should play in that.
Within the framework of this scheme, Turkish occupation’s aircrafts launched attacks on the 15th of June on Şengal mountains and Restam Judi camp in Maxmûr and Media defense zones, followed by a ground attack by the Turkish occupation forces with the help of the Kurdistan Democratic Party which assumed the task of providing information directly to the occupation army.
For more than three months, the Turkish occupation army tried to occupy Heftanin area, but the great resistance shown by the Kurdistan People’s Defense Forces thwarted the scheme, so attention turned again to Şengal.
In this context, Nechirvan Barzani visited Turkey in early September, during which he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his foreign minister and other officials. Although the presidency statement indicated that the visit came to discuss the economic conditions and the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but the tweet of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, exposed the visit, as Davutoglu said: “It was agreed to fight the PKK together.”
After this visit, Başûr government dominated by the Kurdistan Democratic Party intensified its visits to Baghdad and signed with it on the 9th of October a security and administrative agreement to manage Şengal far from the desire of its people.
The Council of Democratic Autonomous Administration in Şengal announced its rejection of any agreement concluded on their fate without their participation, and said in its statement: “Discussions have been taking place between Baghdad and Hewlêr recently about the security and administrative situation in Şengal in an attempt to bring about change in the region without taking into account the visions and will of Şengal’s people.”
This agreement was not accepted by the people of Şengal who see in it a new conspiracy targeting their presence because the forces that fled when the massacres were committed against them want to return again instead of holding accountable their officials who escaped, and they see that their return opens the way again to new massacres.
In meetings conducted by sheikhs and representatives of Şengal and the Autonomous Administration Council therein with the first deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Hassen al-Kaabi, three members of the Iraqi parliament, and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Operations Command, Major General Abd al-Amir al-Shammeri, all parties confirmed their rejection of the agreement and Şengal people’s right to manage themselves.
What confirms that this agreement comes within the framework of a new plan drawn up by Turkey is the Kurdistan Democratic Party building new fortifications and military sites along the border with Rojava, as well as sending Peshmerga forces backed by heavy weapons to Garê mountains.
Turkey wants a Kurdish-Kurdish fight to happen, from which no one will benefit but it, and this will facilitate its implementation of its plan in the occupation of Hewlêr, Duhok, Sulaymaniyah and Şengal, weakening the Kurds in Kirkuk and controlling this oil-rich governorate through the Turkmen and Sunni Arabs loyal to it, taking advantage of Sunni hostility to the Popular Mobilization Forces.