The Tragedy of Shengal and The YBŞ (Şingal Resistance Units)

Today marks one of the worst acts of genocide against the Kurds- and this is not an easy statement as the Kurd’s history is splattered with acts of genocide against us. On this day a year ago, thousands of Yezidis escaped for their lives as ISIS advanced towards these ancient, and long persecuted people. Many children and the elderly died due to thirst and hunger in the extreme heat, waiting for help from the international community (the wait ended when the PKK tracked for miles to clear the mountain of ISIS and delivered them to safety). The men and boys were rounded up and summarily executed- more Kurdish men and boys in mass graves reminiscent of the Anfal campaign. Over 5,000 women and young girls were kidnapped and sold off like cattle. Hundreds of these girls have been killed and/or committed suicide as a means of escaping their pain and suffering.

Yes, the Yezidi Kurds have endured more than words can convey; subjected to over 75 genocides and massacres throughout history. But there is so much more to these people than this history. They are survivors and they endure the unendurable with a resolve that speaks for their collective strength. Through Şingal and that immense, unspeakable violence, a new era was born: The formation of the YBŞ (Şingal Resistance Units) is an effort to end this history of oppression! It is an effort to reclaim an identity under persecution and terror; to reclaim history itself and write a new one. Our history isn’t just pain, suffering and genocide. It is also RESISTANCE, ENDURANCE, PERSEVERANCE against insurmountable odds!

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