Iraq’s Yazidis Return Home To Face Cruel Economic Blockade
Many of the Yazidis who were so brutalised by the extremist Islamic State group have returned home – but now they are threatened by an economic siege caused by political infighting.
It has been eight months since the extremist group known as the Islamic State was pushed out of Sinjar in northern Iraq. The area had become well known because of the way that the Islamic State, or IS, group treated the ethno-religious minority group living there, known as Yazidis. In the months since the IS group has gone, many Yazidis have returned to the area, hoping to rebuild their lives at home despite risks, because it was better than remaining in displaced persons’ camps.
But the situation back home is not necessarily a happy one either. In some new ways, political and military power struggles in the area are making life difficult, and may be a sign of worse troubles to come in Iraq, after the security crisis caused by the IS group.
For the past two months there has been what may best be described as an economic siege affecting Sinjar. Aid for Sinjar from humanitarian organizations and rations sent by the federal government in Baghdad are not being distributed to local families and even commercial shipments of all kinds of other goods have hardly been allowed to enter the district. This is all because of extremely tight security being implemented by troops at the Fish Khabour crossing, also known as the Rabia crossing.
These troops are affiliated with one of nearby Iraqi Kurdistan’s dominant political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP.
The main reason why KDP-affiliated troops are preventing food and goods from getting to Sinjar lies in an ongoing conflict between the KDP and the Kurdish Worker’s Party, or PKK, a group that has been fighting for independence in Turkey for years, in an ongoing conflict that has seen tens of thousands of both Turkish and Kurdish people die; the PKK is categorised as a terrorist organisation by some Western nations.