By Uzay Bulut
Just a few hours after the commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2017, Turkish warplanes dropped bombs on the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar (Shingal) on April 25, at around 2 AM local time, according to reports from the region.
The strikes reportedly killed at least 70 people in the area, with one bomb hitting a Kurdish peshmerga post in Sinjar, killing at least five and severely wounding several more.
Yazidis say they have been subjected to 72 genocidal massacres. The latest genocide, committed by ISIS, is the 73rd and is still going on. Tens of thousands of Yazidis have been displaced and are refugees in several countries. Hundreds of Yazidi girls and women are still bought, sold and raped by ISIS terrorists — the same men who murdered their husbands and fathers.
While Yazidis are still suffering from these atrocities, Turkey, evidently still no friend of non-Muslims, has attacked them yet again.
On August 3, 2014, Islamic State terrorists invaded Sinjar, the homeland of the Yazidis in Iraq, and started slaughtering the Yazidis; many survivors fled up Mount Sinjar.
In his speech to the U.S. Congress, Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, described the genocide in Sinjar and pled for help:
“The entire Yezidi population was displaced in less than one day on August 3, 2014! The Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrian Christians face this genocide together. Why? Because we are not Muslims, and because our path is the path of peace. For this, we are being burned alive. For living as men and women of peace.”
The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking, non-Muslim minority indigenous to northern Mesopotamia, oppose violence. Their faith combines aspects of ancient Mesopotamian religions, including Zoroastrianism.
Fox News reported on the attack:
“The Yazidis of Mountain Shingal are terrified. They feel threatened and unsafe. They thought ISIS days were almost done and they can return to their villages and towns, but now they face a bigger problem,” Yakhi Hamza, country director of the 1st New Allied Expeditionary Force, a humanitarian nonprofit delivering medical help to the most vulnerable Yazidis.
“The strikes hit the only civilian clinic on the Mountain Shingal,” Hamza said. “The clinic was run by a volunteer, Dr. Khansa, who was selflessly serving displaced Yazidi community on the mountain from Day One.”
Before being bombed the clinic… was a makeshift room with six beds and a handful of medications run by a 36-year-old woman the locals lovingly call “Hero Doctor Khansa.”
In the face of ISIS attacks, Yazidis formed defense forces.
Turkish officials apparently consider these groups “terrorists.” The general staff of the Turkish armed forces issued a statement concerning the airstrikes, saying “operations will continue until the terrorists have completely been eliminated.”
In 1915, up to 1.5 million Armenians were expelled from their native lands in Ottoman Turkey. Not only Armenians were targeted. Between 1914 and 1923, Assyrian and Greek Christians were also massacred, according to a report by the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). The report described the situation as “a state-organized and state-sponsored campaign of destruction and genocide, aiming at wiping out from the emerging Turkish Republic its native Christian populations.”
During the Armenian genocide, Yazidis, as well as Christians, were targeted. “To this day,” writes professor Israel Charney in the report, “the Turkish government ostensibly denies having committed this genocide.” Actually, Turkey not only denies the genocide, but also honors the perpetrators.
Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha, known as “the three Pashas,” were the senior officials who ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. They were also the masterminds behind the Armenian Genocide. Their names, as well as the names of other officials who were responsible for the genocide, are still bestowed on many schools, neighborhoods and streets across Turkey.
In 1915, up to 1.5 million Armenians were expelled from their native lands in Ottoman Turkey. Not only Armenians were targeted. Between 1914 and 1923, Assyrian and Greek Christians were also massacred, according to a report by the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Pictured above: Armenian civilians, escorted by Ottoman soldiers, marched through Harput to a prison in nearby Mezireh (present-day Elazig), April 1915.
On April 24, the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination of the Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) held a commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in front of the Turkish-Islamic Arts Museum, a former prison where Armenian intellectuals were held prior to deportation.
Its statement read, in part:
“Denying the genocide is not only saying ‘we didn’t do it.’ It’s much, much worse. It is inflicting the genocide to the grandchildren of its victims every day, again and again with countless tiny little details of daily life. It is declaring murderers as heroes. It is honoring the genocide’s perpetrators… [and] saying to the grandchildren of genocide victims, ‘Murderers of your grandfathers and grandmothers are our heroes; they did it well, God bless them. If necessary, we would do it again.'”
According to Professor Gregory H. Stanton, president of Genocide Watch:
“Studies by genocide scholars prove that the single best predictor of future genocide is denial of a past genocide coupled with impunity for its perpetrators. Genocide Deniers are three times more likely to commit genocide again than other governments.”
Meanwhile, in a recent speech, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to Turkey’s military operations in Iraq and Syria:
“It has now been revealed who acts in obedience to foreign forces and who acts in obedience to Allah…. We are determined to root out traitor gangs completely while we will also never forget that the Muslims cannot be bitten on the same wound over and over again.”
Turkey did not bomb Sinjar when ISIS attacked and invaded the region in 2014. Turkey also did not run to the rescue of Iraqi and Syrian Kurds when ISIS targeted them. Turkey, however, did bomb Sinjar after the region was liberated from ISIS, at a time when thousands of Yazidi civilians are still seeking shelter there.
Many Yazidi survivors of genocide still wish to return to their homeland. They request only infrastructure and international protection, after their homeland was largely destroyed by ISIS.
Matthew Karanian, the author of the 2015 book Historic Armenia After 100 Years, explained in his recent speech at Pasadena City College why Armenians are still fighting for recognition of their genocide. “The alternative,” he said, “is a world in which crimes against humanity are committed with impunity, leaving the victims — and the world — forever at risk.”
 The Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), its all-women offshoot, the Ezidxan Women’s Units (YJÊ), and the Protection Force of Sinjar (HPŞ) founded the all-Yazidi joint commando umbrella structure “Sinjar Alliance,” and took part in the November 2015 Sinjar offensive against ISIS.