Turkish Warplanes Kill Kurds and Yazidi: Erdogan's Ethnic Cleansing

By Almira Cambalon

BY LISA BENSON "Erdogan's Islamist Ambitions: Turkish Caliphate Rising"


In the fog of war, it is difficult to discern the perpetrators from the victims.

This is especially true if there is an effort to purify a country/region of minority ethnicities. Let's call it what it is: It is GENOCIDE.

Genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group. The Yazidi of Iraq, the indigenous people of Northern Iraq, were massacred by the thousands in August 2014. Yazidi fled up Sinjar Mountain to escape death and torture by ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), currently known as ISIS. The genocide led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis in Iraq. Those who were not killed in 2014, now remain in deployable refugee settlements spread throughout the Kurdistan region.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Turkish warplanes bombed the Sinjar region - Yazidi homeland and Kurdish stronghold. It is being reported by informants in Northern Iraq that a 10-year old Yazidi boy was among the approximate 18-22 killed in the attack. Again, the fog of war precludes either confirming, or denying, this report.

What we know for sure: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is living up to his "nationalist" rhetoric by widening his campaign against groups that are not pure Sunni Muslims, or who are enemies of the Republic of Turkey. Erdogan is also doing his part to cleanse the region of non Muslims i.e, the Yazidi.

The airstrikes targeted the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and the YPG, a key off shoot of the PKK and component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, allies of the United States and Russia. The conflict between various Kurdish insurgent groups is the result of a demand for Kurdish independence from Turkey. The Kurds are spread across four countries: Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

The Yazidis are a persecuted minority in Iraq with a historical conflicts with both Kurds and the Turks. At a crossroads between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq -- the Yazidi heartland has become a flash point for political rivalries. Tuesday's airstrikes also targeted the YBS, the Yazidi protection forces in Sinjar region.

What the media has not reported, widely, is the trust the Yazidis have for the PKK (somewhat backed by Iran).

Nearly all survivors of the August 2014 massacre on Yazidis explain how their Kurdish protection forces disappeared from Sinjar hours before ISIL/ISIS attacked. Resoundingly, survivors agree on this point of betrayal by the Kurds.

It was, in fact, the PKK who rescued many Yazidi on Mt. Sinjar.

Iran in its effort to gain a hegemony in Iraq, remain to this day entrenched in Sinjar region (reported since 2014 by Iraqi informants) much to the displeasure of the Turks, and the Kurds. They are not going to leave the region peacefully, and as such, the Turks are bombing the region.

This slice of the Middle East is indeed the flash point of conflicting groups who have one goal in mind: To eliminate the 1 million Yazidi still alive in Iraq. It is a race to who will be successful.

Turkey's Erdogan will not allow Iraq's Sinjar to become a PKK base that protects the Yazidis.

President Tayyip Erdogan who gained sweeping powers in Turkey's recent election said on Tuesday:

"We are obliged to take measures in Sinjar. We must take steps. We shared this with the United States and Russia and we are sharing it with Iraq as well." Erdogan said in an interview in the presidential palace in Ankara. "It is an operation that (Iraqi Kurdistan President Massed) Barzani has been informed about."

Erdogan went on to offer his regrets on the death of several members of the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

In Summary:

The trajectory of information, and misinformation during a genocidal period is often blocked, suppressed or journalists are intimated to report. This is true today in Yazidi refugee camps were there are horrific conditions and photos and stories are blocked -- or journalists are held up by the Kurds for hours on end.

The one million Yazidis remaining are living in deployable refugee communities with reports of lack of food and medicine. The United Nations supplies food and medicine, but like other genocidal populations (Nuba Mountains is an example) the supplies never reach the suffering. They are absconded by those who want to prevent the relief from reaching the suffering.


In the recent Turkish referendum on the amended Turkish Constitution that gave Turkish president Erdogan sweeping powers, the campaign speeches were sprinkled with the idea that the Turkish flag would fly over all of Mount Qandil, a region in Northern Iraq and headquarters of the PKK (trusted by the Yazidis).

Hence, we will likely see more Yazidi, more Kurds targeted by the Turkish air force in the Qundil mountains.

The Turks, the Kurds, the PKK (in good standing with Iran), the YPG are dug in now in the region.

Only the Yazidis who believe that their only friends are the mountains are left vulnerable.

If you remain a skeptic on the motivation of Erdogan, keep in mind that the Islamic State is only about 2 miles away from Tuesday's bombing --- Erdogan did not have his sites on the ISIS, he had it on the Kurds and the Yazidi in an effort cleanse the region and pave the way to the purist Islam..... The Ottoman Caliphate Rising.

Lisa E. Benson

National Security, Foreign Policy Commentator, Broadcaster and Analyst

CEO, The Queen Esther Project


April 26, 2017

4:00 pm PST

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