After a two-day battle, Kurdish forces liberated the strategic Iraqi town of Sinjar (Shengal) from Islamic State. In addition to dealing a symbolic blow to ISIS’s nascent state, the loss of Sinjar also severs a vital supply link between Mosul and Raqqa.
HPG-YBŞ: Shengal liberated
Friday, November 13, 2015
SHENGAL – ANF
HPG Shengal Command and YBŞ General Command announced in a written statement that Shengal town centre has been liberated from ISIS occupation.
The joint statement recalled that HPG and YBŞ forces had inflicted severe blows on ISIS gangs during the offensive in Shilo area that started on October 8, after which they launched an operation to liberate villages in west Shengal on October 31.
HPG Shengal Command and YBŞ General Command said they present a free Shengal to the people on the second day of the offensive launched against Shengal town centre and surrounding villages yesterday.
According to the statement, the operation to liberate the villages and surrounding areas of Shengal is going on, and a detailed statement will be released later.
HPG Commander: We have kept our promise by liberating Shengal
Friday, November 13, 2015
SHENGAL – ANF
HPG Shengal Commander Egit Civyan stated that they present Shengal’s liberation to all the Kurdistan people. Civyan said some circles deny the fact that guerrillas have led the operation to liberate Shengal which was participated by all the forces fighting in the region.
HPG Shengal Commander Egit Civyan spoke to ANF after the liberation of the Êzîdî town from ISIS occupation earlier today.
’15 MONTHS OF RESISTANCE BROUGHT VICTORY TODAY’
HPG Commander noted that the resistance going on in Shengal for 15 months, has brought victory today.
Civyan said they present Shengal’s liberation to all the people of Kurdistan- Êzîdîs in the first place- and the martyrs, as he also extended thanks to the HPG, YJA-STAR, YBŞ, YPJ-Shengal and peshmerga forces that have taken part in the operation to liberate Shengal.
‘WE LIBERATED SHENGAL IN LOYALTY TO OUR MARTYRS’
HPG Shengal Commander stated that 15 thousand civilian people living on Mount Shengal have never abandoned their land by staying alongside freedom fighters, adding; “These people of ours didn’t leave their sacred lands and thus contributed greatly to the accomplishment of this victory. We paid heavy prices here, many comrades of ours were martyred. We have liberated Shengal in loyalty to their memory.”
Regarding the reason for the belatedness of the operation for Shengal, HPG Commander said; “We made major preparations to liberate Shengal last December. We also issued a call to peshmerga forces and had talks with them as we made advances and liberated many areas. Yet, peshmerga officials said there was no such a subject on their agenda, and told us to wait. Thereupon, we opened a corridor and started an offensive for Shengal’s liberation. A group of peshmerga fighters also joined this offensive which, however, didn’t endure due to the obstacles created by some forces. This liberation would normally take place 11 months ago. If peshmerga forces had joined the offensive, Shengal would have been liberated on 19 December, 2014. We have been waiting for this day for 11 months.”
‘FORCES SHOULD ACT UNDER A JOINT COMMAND’
Reiterating his call for a joint command in Shengal, HPG Commander said; “There is one single and common enemy here. We have repeatedly brought up the matter of action under a joint command. All the resisting force should act in unity. We have always highlighted this necessity. Once it became clear that no progress would be made in this regard, and the process was being prolonged, we went into action. We thereupon supported the operation launched by YBŞ [Shengal Resistance Units] in Shilo valley on October 8, and liberated it. On November 2, we started an offensive in the region between Rojava and Shengal, where 9 villages were liberated. For the past 3 days, we have been in action for Shengal. Within the scope of the operation which started yesterday, our forces took control of the town centre today.”
Regarding the entry of forces in Shengal town centre, HPG Commander said; “Clashes took place in some areas when YBŞ and guerrilla forces first entered the centre. The gangs mainly fled and three of them were captured alive.”
HPG Commander said they have fulfilled the promise they had given to their martyrs, adding; “Sacred places of our Êzîdî people remain under ISIS occupation. We will be fighting to liberate them as well.”
‘GUERRILLAS RESISTED AND PAID A PRICE HERE’
Criticizing the approaches that deny the presence and role of guerrillas in Shengal, Civyan said; “There are guerrilla, YBŞ and peshmerga forces fighting here, yet this operation has been led by guerrillas. We should have been thanked to, still it’s not a big deal and we thank everyone that had a part in this operation; to the guerrillas and the forces of YBŞ and peshmerga.”
HPG Commander underlined that guerrillas resisted and paid a price there, adding; “Nobody can deny the role of guerrillas. Staff of some TV channels change their direction when they see guerrillas while reporting from Shengal. Such approaches harm the national interests of our people. Nobody should call upon the guerrillas to leave here, we cannot accept such impositions.”