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YAZIDI forces vowed yesterday to defend their homeland against threatened attacks by Turkey following an air strike during a religious festival in the Sengal region of Iraq last week.
Sengal resistance units (YBS) paramilitaries called on people across the world to condemn the latest aggression by the “colonialist Turkish state,” during which three civilians were killed.
The Sengal region of Iraq is home to a sizeable Yazidi community, an ethno-religious minority closely related to the Kurds. The Yazidis suffered a genocide at the hands of Isis in 2014, thousands of men were killed and thousands of women and girls were raped and sold into sexual slavery.
Turkey claimed that its jets were targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in the recent attack. However, the YBS said that the group, which was part of the operation that liberated Yazidis from Isis during the 2014 siege of Mount Sinjar, had long withdrawn from the area.
The YBS claimed Turkey was aware of this and that the attacks were not aimed at the PKK but were the actions of “a fascist dictatorship system” bent on pursuing expansionist Ottoman dreams.
The YBS warned: “We are not a force to submit to threats” and promised to defend land the Yazidi regard as holy until the end.
It called for dialogue and also urged the US-led coalition forces, which have controlled the air space over Sengal since the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, to close it to Turkish jets.
“We call on our people, wherever they are, to condemn these attacks with mass actions. Again, we invite our young men and women to defend this sanctity and defend the holy land of Sengal," the YBS statement concluded.
Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch a ground invasion in northern Syria “in the next few days” to consolidate and expand Ankara’s influence in the region.
His forces have occupied Afrin canton since March following the ludicrously inappropriately titled Operation Olive Branch, an illegal invasion carried out on the pretext of protecting Turkey’s borders, driving Syrian Kurds from their land.
In his latest announcement Mr Erdogan claimed that he will ally with 15,000 soldiers from the jihadist-backed Free Syrian Army in an offensive to take control of Manbij, a city in the north-east of the Aleppo province in northern Syria, and hundreds of miles of Turkish territory.
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