There is no getting away from the overwhelming grief which continues to envelop the Yazidi community in northern Iraq. This is Kalash’s story. It is sadly not unusual.
Kalash with YPG fighters at an entry checkpoint to Sinjar. He credits the YPG with saving lives and preventing kidnappings.
I remember when the Peshmerga leader says to us, ‘Don’t escape, the force will come to save you. Don’t go anywhere.’ I was here [Sinjar]. What happened? Hmmm. Genocide. So, when ISIS coming, the Peshmerga raised the white flag and escaped, all of them escaped. All Shingal [Sinjar] area was under the control of KDP Peshmerga. For Sinjar, I see it’s very difficult because it’s not safe. The Arabs here in Shingal, when ISIS coming all of them fighting us.
Will you allow Sunni Arabs to come back? I don’t think so because all of them was with ISIS. Even if the government come and refuse to kill them, the Yazidi people will kill them.
Who will govern Sinjar in the future? I think Kurdistan Regional Government.
Will you be happy with that, after what happened? Actually no. Because the same leader now are in Sinjar and they say ‘we will protect Sinjar’ and we saw when they escaped without any resistance against ISIS, so we think….
Did you mark Yazidi New Year? No. Now my cousin, she is old 7 years, she’s in captivity with ISIS. Other my cousin, he was 17 years old, ISIS killed him. Other my cousin, she was 1 year old, she died from thirst in mountain in August when we escaped, because there was no milk and there was no clear water and she’s died in the way of going to Syria.
Did you go to Syria? Yes. August 15 2014, YPG opened border of Syria and thousands of Yazidis escaped through that border. If not YPG fighters I think there would be many more killed and more captivity and more crimes against Yazidis, but YPG opened border between Iraq and Syria and many Yazidis escaped through that point.
How long did you spend there? Three days. I went to Zhakho, then to Lalish and then in September 3 I come back to mountain so I help Yazidi fighters by my information on medicine or like that. In that time, I was not graduated, but I was a student, I have information about medicine and first aid, so I came. [Now] I have graduated from Duhok University, Community Health Department.