Sinjar: Four people killed in 10 days for “unknown motives”

A security forces checkpoint in Sinjar district, Nineveh, 2019. Ibrahim Yazidi

By Ammar Aziz in Nineveh

Four people were killed in Shingal (Sinjar) district within 10 days without any main accused being arrested, despite the presence of eight security and military forces in the region.

The latest murder occurred on November 2nd in the center of Sinjar district, home to the Ezidi (Yazidi) community, where a young man was shot and died instantly.

A security source, who requested to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to declare, said that the young man who was killed in the shooting incident was called Saad Shaker Mahlou and he was 20-years-old, while no accused was arrested in connection with the incident, noting that “the motive behind the crime is unknown.”

The majority of Ezidis live in Shingal District, a disputed area west of Nineveh Governorate. The tolerant and vulnerable non-Muslim community fell under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS (Daesh) on August 3, 2014, which resulted in thousands of Ezidis being killed, kidnapped, and displaced.

Within months, thousands of houses, buildings, and service sectors in the district were destroyed as a result of the war against ISIS. Another section of the Ezidis lives in Sheikhan, Bashiqa and other areas of the Nineveh Plain.

Late on the night of October 24, three people from one family, a six-year-old child, his his father (Rashid Bisso, 40 years old), and his step-mother were killed in the Ain al-Ghazal area - 10 kilometers from the center of Sinjar.

Eido Bisso, the brother of the man who was killed along with his wife and child, said that his brother was a member of the Peshmerga forces but left his duty due to his low salary and was busy herding livestock.

“He had no problems with anyone. We were also shocked by their killing. We do not know who committed this crime.”

Eido explained to KirkukNow that his brother's ex-wife was killed and he married for the second time.

The security forces arrested several people on charges of involvement in the incident, and the security source in Sinjar said, “Four people who are relatives of the victims have been arrested, but they are not main suspects, and the motive behind the crime is still unknown, awaiting the results of the investigations.”

Over 664,000 IDPs live in the IKR, most of them from Nineveh Governorate, specifically from Shingal District, 30% of them are Ezidis.

The reconstruction process in Shingal, which has had two local administrations for years, is subject to the implementation of the provisions of the Shingal Agreement, which has been confirmed in the ministerial platform of the Iraqi government, and although the agreement was concluded in 2020, its provisions have not been implemented yet.

There are more than eight armed forces in Sinjar district (120 km west of Mosul), which has a Yazidi majority. Sinjar district is a disputed area between the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government KRG and the federal government in Baghdad.

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