Fire burns Sinjar mount and approaches IDP camps

Sinjar, a man is trying to stop a fire that is burning the mount of Sinjar, June 7, 2020. Photo: Exclusive to KirkukNow

Ammar Aziz- Nineveh

A large part of the mount of Sinjar burned as fire has caught since Saturday. The fire is expanding and approaching the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

On Saturday, June 6, fire caught in north of Sinjar mountain, which cannot be approached by firefighter vehicles, forcing people of the area to try to stop the fire.

Khairi Qassem, an IDP in the Sinjar mount camp, doubts that the mount was set on fire, claiming that, “the aim of the fire is to make obstacle to those IDPs who are planning to return to Sinjar.” Qassem neither provided any evidence for his claim, nor did he name any one.

Investigations into the causes of the fire is yet to starts as the authorities and the people are busy with controlling the fire.

“The fire has not yet reached the camp but there are clouds of smoke, which have caused problems for people with ill respiratory system,” Qassem added.

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Sinjar, the cloud smokes of the fire is approaching Sinjar, June 7, 2020. Photo: KirkukNow 

Majority of the Ezids fled to Sinjar mountain, 120 km western Nineveh, when the Islamic State group took over the district of Sinjar. Still, two thousand families reside in the camp of mount Sinjar and another thousand live in Sardasht camp.

Ali Sha’bo, head of Sardasht IDP camp, said that, “the fire burning the mountain is accidental, no one is behind it.”

Sha’bo added that the fire is still three kilometers away and has not harmed any IDPs.

“The problem is firefighter vehicles cannot reach the mountain, that is why a great number of the IDPs and people of the areas are trying to control it.”

Sha’bo claimed that the fire has expanded seven to eight kilometers, adding that thousands of trees burned, and only 20 percent of the fire is left to be controlled.

Sinajr mountain is a wide area between Iraq and Syria and has tens of ancient villages and religious sites.

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