Fighters of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ). File photo

ARA News

DUHOK – Kurdish Yezidi fighters of the Shingal Resistance Units (YBŞ) repelled an offensive led by militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq’s western areas of Sinjar (Shingal) on Saturday, killing scores of ISIS extremists and wounding dozens more, local and official sources reported. 

Iraqi official sources confirmed that at least 32 ISIS militants have been killed in clashes with the YBŞ fighters and allied groups in the Yezidi region of Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Also, local sources reported that the YBŞ [local Yezidi fighters], backed by allied fighters from the Nawader al-Shammar, were able to repel an ISIS-led attack and kill dozens of jihadis.

The hardline group launched an offensive on the Yezidi areas in a bid to recapture positions in western Sinjar it lost earlier, according to local sources.

“The YBŞ and allied Arab group of Nawader al-Shammar have pushed ISIS back after clashes in the western suburbs of Nineveh,” Iraqi MP and representative of the Nineveh province, Abdul Rahim al-Shammari, said in an official statement on Saturday.

The MP pointed out the local forces caused the hardline group heavy losses in manpower and equipment.

Speaking to ARA News in Shingal (Sinjar), YBŞ member Saleh Jimmeh said that military confrontations continue between the local forces and ISIS militants, especially in the areas near Baaj and Tal Afar.

Over the past few days, the US-led coalition forces conducted dozens of air raids on ISIS headquarters in the vicinity of Sinjar.

The Nawader al-Shammar group, affiliated with the Arab clan of Shammar, is mainly based in Rabia town and the areas adjacent to the Iraqi-Syrian border. It was formed after ISIS’s control over Mosul city in order to protect their areas from any possible attacks by the radical group. 

In August 2014, ISIS extremists had taken control of Shingal, causing a mass displacement of nearly 400,000 Yezidi civilians towards Duhok and Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tens of thousands of Yezidis remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape at the hands of ISIS extremists. Also, more than 3000 Yezidi women have been taken by the radical group as sex slaves.

Backed by the U.S.-led coalition’s air cover, the Yezidi region of Shingal was liberated in November 2015 at the hands of the Kurdish Peshmerga army after more than a year of ISIS occupation.

After ISIS departure, the Kurdish forces have discovered several mass graves in Shingal. Most of the victims were women and children from the Yezidi minority. Specialized teams, that have been inspecting traces of the people disappeared during the group’s rule over the Yezidi-populated region, have so far discovered five mass graves belonging to Yezidi civilians, according to human rights activists and Peshmerga officials who spoke to ARA News.

Reporting by: Ali Issa

Source: ARA News

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