lundi 22 décembre 2014

Un combattant tribal yézidi du Sinjar : "Nous voulons tuer des musulmans. Nous voulons en tuer beaucoup. Plus nous en tuerons, mieux ce sera."

Band battles Islamic State over Mount Sinjar in Iraq
Jonathan Krohn, Special for USA TODAY 6:20 p.m. EST December 7, 2014

MOUNT SINJAR, Iraq — Kawa scrambles down the hill at a rapid clip in his ragged, knock-off Adidas Center Court III sneakers. His green kaffiyeh, tied around his head like a bandana, flaps behind him in the wind as he runs through the rocky, desert terrain at the foot of Mount Sinjar. He shrinks into a dot as he runs, hurtling into the distance past the sand dunes, his AK-47 rattling against his back, until he disappears into a cave.

Inside Kawa's cave sits a hodgepodge of men from a variety of backgrounds. Kawa is an Iranian Kurd and member of the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) battling the Islamic State to regain territory lost in August, when the militants seized the surrounding area and brutalized the population.

His men include Turkish Kurds and local Yazidis, a religious sect persecuted by the Islamic State, as well as at least one non-Kurdish Turk, Ozgur, who is a member of the Turkish Communist Party.

Kawa's unit of 31 — including 20 local tribal members — is on the front lines of the fighting, about 2 miles west of the town of Sinjar, where they keep a watchful eye on Iraq's Highway 47, the only route under the Islamic State's complete control going directly from Mosul to Syria. The militants seized control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in June.

The Islamic State enslaved hundreds of Yazidi women and girls, looted houses and killed an unknown number of other Yazidis, sending the remainder fleeing to this mountain.

The two sides have fought to a stalemate, the front lines barely moving at all.

Highway 47 has been a key source of trade and logistical support for the militants. "They stole Yazidi stuff and took it to the Syria side," says Kawa, who will give only his first name, like most fighters here. "Sometimes we see them take weapons from Syria to Mosul and sometimes from Mosul to Syria."

Inside the cave, Kawa and his men listen to mortar shells ring out a few hundred yards away. Kawa talks about the new recruits the PKK has trained for the past few months. "They're good fighters," but training them is difficult because of cultural differences, he says. He says there are 400 PKK fighters in the area and 300 of the new Yazidi recruits. Both are represented here.

Down the road from Kawa's cave sits a boneyard of cars, trucks and tractors abandoned by fleeing Yazidis. It is the makeshift base of the 20 tribal fighters working alongside Kawa. They've been here since August, they say, and are quite bitter about what happened four months ago.

"We want to kill Muslims," says Salem Shamo, one of the tribal fighters. "We want to kill many. The more the better."

The sense of hate is palpable under the midday sun. That hate, combined with broad suspicion, has produced a feeling that no one else is to be trusted. "Nobody is going to benefit the Yazidi people besides Yazidis," says Haider Hassan, another tribal fighter.

The PKK forces, along with the Yazidis they've trained and the tribal fighters, man four outposts along the hill. From one of the outposts, a tribal fighter looks through binoculars. Across the street, he sees a building he says is the Islamic State's local base.

Two days ago, Kawa says, he led a raid on one of the nearby checkpoints. A round goes off, aimed at another outpost. "Sometimes IS shoots us, sometimes we shoot them," Kawa says.

The coalition with the tribal fighters here is not unique. All around Sinjar, tribal fighters have teamed up with the PKK and the Yazidis they've trained.

Even with such cooperation, the alliance can't break the siege. The head of PKK forces on the mountain, who goes by the nom de guerre Agid, ("hero" in Kurdish), says regaining control of the northern corridor between Sinjar and Syria is the next goal, but there aren't enough troops.

"We could do it in one day," he says, "but we need more troops to hold it."
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Voir également : Kurdistan irakien : le leader islamiste kurde Ali Bapir déclare que les Yézidis et YPG (communistes) morts au combat ne sont pas des martyrs

La lapidation chez les Kurdes yezidis (non-musulmans) du nord de l'Irak