Yazidis Burn Muslim Homes in ‘Liberated’ Iraqi City of Sinjar

ISIS Had Marked Homes of Sunnis While They Controlled City

Over a year after ISIS captured the city of Sinjar, home to a significant chunk of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, the city was “liberated” by Kurdish forces. Just days later, Yazidis are rampaging through the streets, burning mosques and the homes of Muslims, who they accuse of being in league with ISIS.

ISIS carried out several bloody attacks against the Yazidis early in their takeover of the region, and labeled the homes of Sinjar’s Sunni residents as such, apparently to advise their forces to leave them alone in their various crackdowns. Now, the homes labeled Sunni are a target.

Sunnis are often the targets of violent recriminations after ISIS loses control of cities and towns, under the presumption that anyone ISIS wasn’t persecuting (or at least was persecuting less publicly) must’ve been secretly collaborating with them.

It is unusual, however, for the locals to be carrying out the crackdowns, as opposed to the militias involved in retaking the city. There is no news the Kurdish Peshmerga or the PKK were involved in burning any homes, and indeed, Kurdish officials are denying that it’s even happening, despite confirmation from multiple witnesses.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.