Turkish forces have routinely bombed and carried out assassinations against members of left-wing Yazidi militias in the mountainous northern Iraqi area known as Shingal or Sinjar, Seth J. Frantzman wrote for the Jerusalem Post.
The latest air strike took place on Wednesday morning and killed at least five people in a vehicle, including Zardast Shingali, a member of the Shingal Protection Units (YBS), a local militia that is allied with Kurdish left-wing groups that Turkey views as enemies.
The ancient Yazidi religious minority that lives in the area faced genocide when the Islamic State captured their homeland in 2014. They regained their homes when the jihadists were driven out by Iraqi and Kurdish forces in 2017, but have been subject to attack from Turkey since then, Frantzman said.
The YBS is aligned with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which began an armed uprising for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey in 1984, and the People’s Protection Units, the northern-Syrian PKK affiliate that Turkey launched a military operation against in October.
Though the Yazidi group has not carried out any operations considered as terrorist attacks by Turkey, it has been targeted in a series of air strikes since 2017, including one that killed PKK leader Zaki Shingali while he was returning from genocide commemorations and another that hit a refugee camp.
“Turkey carries out air strikes in Sinjar because it knows that Iraq won’t oppose it and it can act with impunity in an area of Iraq that is impoverished and recovering from genocide,” Frantzman said.