Yazidis Who Suffered Genocide Are Fleeing Again, But This Time Not From The Islamic State
The following is an excerpt from Loveday Morris | March 21, 2017 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
SINJAR, Iraq — Relatives collapsed in grief as the coffin of an 18-year-old Yazidi fighter was carried to a small temple at the base of Mount Sinjar.
Salam Mukhaibir’s death this month, along with four other Yazidi fighters, marked the latest dark turn for an Iraqi minority sect that has suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State.
But the men were not killed fighting the militants. They died in clashes with Kurdish peshmerga forces when long-simmering rivalries erupted.
The Islamic State overran the town of Sinjar and its surroundings 2½ years ago, executing thousands of Yazidi men, whom it considers apostates. Thousands of women who were kidnapped to be used as sex slaves and their children remain missing.
But the fierce infighting among forces ostensibly meant to be battling the militants now threatens to set back efforts to recapture more land and rebuild areas reduced to rubble.
The conflagration presents a challenge for the United States, which plays a role supporting both Kurdish factions involved — providing military assistance to them, or their affiliates, in the fight against the Islamic State. It also marks a bleak bellwether for the prospects of peace after territory is finally won back from the Islamic State. In neighboring Syria, U.S. troops have already been diverted to prevent warring between rival forces they support.
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