Kurdish fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) on Monday repelled a renewed offensive by Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants on the Yezidi district of Sinjar (Shingal) in northern Iraq.
The YBS, a PKK-liked Yezidi force, said in a statement that a group of ISIS militants tried to infiltrate into the Sakniya village in Sinjar district.
“The terrorists initiated the offensive by carrying out two car bomb attacks near a YBS checkpoint at the entrance of the Sakniya village to facilitate the infiltration of a group of Daesh [ISIS] terrorists into the village,” the Yezidi leadership said.
The bombardment caused the injury of several YBS fighters, a local officer told ARA News.
“However, after sporadic clashes we were able to repel the attack and force the terrorists to retreat,” the YBS said in a statement on Monday.
At least four ISIS militants were killed before the rest withdrew from the area.
“We will not allow this terrorist group to return to Shingal [Sinjar] and terrify our Yezidi community anymore,” the YBS said.
ISIS subjugated the Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq, home to most of Iraq’s minority groups, during the summer of 2014. These minorities were systematically targeted by ISIS in a violent campaign to ‘purify’ the region of non-Islamic influences.
In August 2014, ISIS radicals took over the Yezidi region of Shingal/Sinjar in northern Iraq, causing a mass displacement of nearly 400,000 people to Duhok and Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tens of thousands of Yezidis remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape cases, according to local and military sources. Also, thousands of Yezidi girls have been taken by the radical group as sex slaves.
On November 13, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, backed by an air cover from the US-led coalition forces, announced the liberation of the entire Yezidi district of Shingal in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh after fierce battles with ISIS extremists. The Kurdish forces have recently discovered more than five mass graves in the Yezidi region, where hundreds of Yezidi civilians have been summarily executed and buried by ISIS jihadis.