ROZANA DADO / AFRIN
Afrin region is characterized by cultural diversity, multi-religious beliefs and religions, where Muslims, Christians and Yezidi live alongside Sunni and Alawi. The life of co-existence among the various components has been greatly enhanced during the years of Rojava Revolution and North Syria .
However, following the invasion of Afrin canton by the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries, Yezidi villages and places of worship were destroyed. The century-old in Qastal Juandu was shelled and the hundreds of years old trees were destroyed.
Violations of the Turkish army and its mercenaries did not stop there. Instead, they followed a systematic plan to eliminate the Yezidi religion. Yezidis are accused of apostasy and are forced to convert to Islam, as happened with the Yezidis in Basofan and al-Gazawyia villages .
What are the occupied Yezidi villages?
The population of the Yazidis in Afrin province is 25,000, distributed among 22 villages, including villages where Muslims coexist with the Yazidis, such as the villages of Basofan, Fakira, Ali Qena, Qastal Jandu, Qibar, Ghazzawiya, Abdo Barj , Qatma, Ein Dara, , Sinka, Kafr Zeit, Iska, Kimar, Jagla, Ashka Sharqi, Bai, Qajoma, Qila, Janders, Shadir).
The sacred Yezidi monuments
The Yazidis perform their religious rituals at shrines since 1600 BC. The Yazidi shrines spread throughout the villages of Jumah Plain, Sharan district and Mount Lilon, often with shrines or places of worship common to all residents, far from their religious faith.
In the Afrin district, there are 12 sites of Yazidis, many of which were destroyed and destroyed by the attacks of the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries.
The shrines are known as the Yezidi sheikhs who oversaw these shrines, such as the Sheikh RaKab shrine in Shadira village, the Sheikh Sida shrine in Fakira village, the Sheikh Ghraib shrine Sanka village , the Sheikh Kars shrine near Atama town , the Sheikh Ali shrine in Basofan village ,shrine Jalkana In Qibar village, a shrine al-Shiekh in Qastal Jando village a shrine in Bir Jafar in Mashla village , a Hawker shrine in Qara, a shrine of Sheikh Barakat south of Basofan village .
These villages are now under domination of the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries. Many families are stuck there. According to the information received, the people are being oppressed, threatened and forced to retreat from the Yezidi religion.
The co –chair of the Ezidi house in Afrin Suad Hassou confirmed that the mercenaries of the Turkish occupation army practiced a policy of intimidation against the Yazidis who are stranded in Afrin and violate their rights to worship after destroying most of the shrines. The aim of all this is to eliminate the Yezidi religion.
"Sadly, most of the shrines in Afrin, the home of the Yazidis and the Lalish dome have been destroyed," said Suad Gharib. "They want to destroy the historic landmarks of the Yazidis."
She also said that there is documented information confirming the killing of dozens of Yezidis, in addition to the presence of 15 missing, whose fate is still unknown. On the other hand, there are people who are imprisoned in their villages who are not entitled to leave them and go to Afrin city or even to neighboring villages.
The co-chair of the Yazidi association in Afrin Suad Hassou in ende her speeech"The Yezidis who are in the province of al-Shahba will not be fooled by the propaganda published by the mercenaries, and they will not return to Afrin until they are cleansed of mercenaries and the occupation ."