photo: Eddy van Wessel


Friday, January 29, 2016

Start rebuilding Shingal to keep more Yezidis from leaving

Some shops have opened in Shingal, the Yezidi-town recaptured two months ago from the Islamic group ISIS who occupied it for a year and a half. The local telephone tower has been re-equipped, after having been taken out of use as part of ISIS’ no-connection policy. Water tankers drive on and off to bring water to soldiers and shopkeepers, and generators hum to provide electricity.

But the rubble still lies where it was when Peshmerga troops liberated the town in November. Even the collapsed Manara, a historical monument that was part of the face of the town, has been left untouched. As have the roads, of which many are blocked by the effects of the bombing campaigns that eventually led to ISIS fleeing the town.

Some of the enormous tunnel network under the town still has not been discovered. The same goes for some explosives and booby-traps ISIS left behind. And most importantly, ISIS still is out there, only at about 10 kilometres from the town.

Yet the Kurdish mayor of Shingal, Mahma Khalil, states that civilians will return as soon as the most important services have been restored. Give them water and electricity, and they will come back, is his message.

Read more here

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