August 17, 2014

Heroic YPG Sacrificed To Save Yezidis While US-Backed KRG Peshmerga Faced ISIS With Yellow Eyes And Ran Away Like Rats In The Night

 Image: Iraqi volunteers from the Yazidi sect gather during a training camp at the Serimli military base, which is controlled by YPG, in Qamishli
 The YPG in Syria are training the Yezidi refugees they rescued in Iraq. Photo Source: Reuters.

There is a worrying trend in Iraq and across the Middle East. U.S-trained armies are breaking down and abandoning their posts in the face of the ISIS onslaught. The Iraqi army ran away when ISIS invaded Mosul in June, and the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government did likewise when ISIS invaded the Sinjar region.

It looks like Kurds in Iraq have gone soft under U.S. tutelage in the last 20+ years. This is what happens when you rely on a superpower for your safety. The Israeli army is also overrated. Without the U.S, both the Israeli government and the KRG would not be able to look after themselves. In the past they were more than able to defend themselves because their reliance on Uncle Sam was less, but not today. 

The true Kurdish fighters who deserve the name of Peshmerga are the YPG of Syria. They are not as well-armed, but they possess greater will and courage. They faced down ISIS and secured a route from the Sinjar mountains to northern Syria to help Yezidi refugees escape. They did not sacrifice civilian lives for political considerations, as the KRG may have done by abandoning the Yezidis in their hour of greatest need.

They broke their promise to them, and many Yezidis say they won't ever forgive their shameful betrayal. These lowlifes did not even have the courtesy to warn the Yezidi civilians that ISIS was coming. They just left them in the middle of the night to rot.

1. An excerpt from, "How the U.S.-favored Kurds Abandoned the Yazidis when ISIS Attacked" by Christine van den Toorn, The Daily Beast, August 17:
Interviews with survivors of the IS onslaught in the region of Sinjar this month suggest that the peshmerga and the political leadership in Iraqi Kurdistan misled them about the threat and abandoned them when they came under attack. Perhaps worse, still, many of the their Sunni Muslim neighbors, with whom they had lived and farmed for centuries, turned against them.

For years, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), one of the two ruling parties in the Kurdistan region, has poured money into the pockets of Yazidis in Sinjar who were willing to join the party. They also offered protection. The Yazidis’ arcane religion, which mingles Zoroastrianism and belief in fallen-and-resurrected angels, is incorrectly but commonly called “devil worship” by outsiders and is precisely the kind of “idolatrous” faith Muslims have sought to extirpate since the days of the Prophet Mohammad.  In areas outside of Kurdish control, like Mosul, jihadists targeted Yazidis even before the recent offensive by IS. But in Sinjar, nestled at the southern foot of a large isolated mountain that rises like a vision from the surrounding plain,  the KDP assured the residents — including Yazidis and a smaller Christian population — that they were safe.
If the Yazidi men had known the peshmerga would withdraw, they might have fled earlier as well. Alone, they were no match for the IS army.

North of the mountain, locals received no warning from peshmerga or KDP and government officials regarding the attacks, said Amina, who worked for the party in that region. She heard about attacks from her aunt who lives south of the mountain, and she called her sub-branch director.  She was told to stay calm and that there was no withdrawal. But when she called Sarbast Baiperi’s guards they said he had left the night before and they themselves were already gone, and they confirmed the troop withdrawal. 

Others from northern villages had similar stories: foggy information about the nature of the attacks south of the mountain, unaware of peshmerga withdrawal.
2. An excerpt from, "Our Victory is Measured by the Souls We Save and Not the Souls We Kill" Kovan Direj, August 17:
As a result of ISIS’ invasion, 200,000 Yazidi and Turkmen men and women, children and elderly escaped to the Sinjar Mountains without any basic life supplies as water or food, to await their fate on a dry mountain in 50 degree heat.  The Peshmerga initially fled to Rojava and then headed to KRG through Semalka’s border.  Peshmerga’s commander refused YPG’s advice to not abandon the Sinjar region and to fight ISIS side by side.

Upon Peshmerga’s refusal, YPG entered into the 97km area abandoned by Peshmerga, stretching from the Zhalah Bridge to the Sinjar Mountains.  YPG opened a road that crossed ISIS’ controlled area to reach the Mountain of Sinjar and successfully evacuated 20,000 people.  The toll of this operation was of 15 martyred YPG Special Forces.

A YPJ fighter holding a baby over the injured mother was asked how many ISIS had been killed, to which she replied: “Our victory is measured by the souls we save and not the souls we kill.”  All witnesses of the massacre by ISIS say: “only God and YPG saved us and the Peshmerga betrayed us.”  If the Peshmerga betrayed or not could be argued, but what is clear is that the PDK Commander’s order to withdraw led to 500-1000 people to their graves, beheaded or buried alive and 15 thousand refugees.  We may never come to understand how or why a heavily armed and trained Peshmega abandoned defenseless civilians without firing a single bullet.
3. An excerpt from, "Kurdish militants train hundreds of Yazidis to fight Islamic State" by Youssef Boudlal, Reuters, August 17:

Kurdish militants have trained hundreds of Yazidi volunteers at several camps inside Syria to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq, a member of the armed Kurdish YPG and a Reuters photographer who visited a training camp said on Sunday.

The photographer spend Saturday at the training camp at the Serimli military base in Qamishli, northeastern Syria on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, where he saw 55 Yazidis being trained to fight the Islamic State.
The YPG are one of the few militant groups that have been able to stem the advance of the Islamic State, the most powerful rebel group in Syria and Iraq.