2007 Yazidi communities bombings

Last updated
2007 Yazidi communities bombings
Kahtaniya-Iraq.png
Location of Til Ezer (Kahtaniya)
Location Til Ezer and Siba Sheikh Khidir, Iraq
DateAugust 14, 2007 (UTC+3)
TargetYazidis
Attack type
Car bombs
Deaths796
Injured1,562

The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred on August 14, 2007, when four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Til Ezer (al-Qahtaniyah) and Siba Sheikh Khidir (al-Jazirah), near Mosul in Iraq.

Contents

796 people were killed and at least 1,500 people wounded, [1] [2] [3] making this the Iraq War's most deadly car bomb attack. It is also the third deadliest act of terrorism in history, following behind the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre in Iraq, and the September 11 attacks in the United States. [4] No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Tensions and background

For several months leading up to the attack, tensions had been building up in the area, particularly between Yazidis and Sunni Muslims (Muslims including Arabs and Kurds). Some Yazidis living in the area received threatening letters calling them "infidels". [5] Leaflets were also distributed denouncing Yazidis as "anti-Islamic" and warning them that an attack was imminent. [6] [7]

The attack might be connected to an incident wherein Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl, was stoned to death by the Yazidis. Aswad was believed to have wanted to convert in order to marry a Sunni. [8] [9] Two weeks later, after a video of the stoning appeared on the Internet, Sunni gunmen [10] stopped minibuses filled with Yazidis; 23 Yazidi men were forced from a bus and shot dead. [11]

The Sinjar area which has a mixed population of Yazidis, Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs was scheduled to vote in a plebiscite on accession to the Kurdish region in December 2007. This caused hostility among the neighbouring Arab communities. A force of 600 Kurdish Peshmerga was subsequently deployed in the area, and ditches were dug around Yazidi villages to prevent further attacks. [12]

Details

The bombings occurred at around 7:20 pm local time on August 14, 2007, when four co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Qahtaniyah and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul. They targeted the Yazidi, a religious minority in Iraq, [13] [14] using a fuel tanker and three cars. An Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said that two tons of explosives were used in the blasts, which crumbled buildings, trapping entire families beneath mud bricks and other wreckage as entire neighborhoods were flattened. Rescuers dug underneath the destroyed buildings by hand to search for remaining survivors. [15]

"Hospitals here are running out of medicine. The pharmacies are empty. We need food, medicine and water otherwise there will be an even greater catastrophe," said Abdul-Rahim al-Shimari, mayor of the Baaj district, which includes the devastated villages. [16]

796 people were killed and at least 1,562 more wounded. [1] [2] [3]

Responsibility

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Iraq's President, Jalal Talabani, accused Iraqi Sunni insurgents of the bombings, pointing at the history of Sunni violence against Yazidis. They were reported to have distributed leaflets denouncing Yazidis as "anti-Islamic". [17] Although the attacks carry al-Qaeda's signature of multiple simultaneous attacks, it is unclear why they would refrain from claiming responsibility for such a successful operation. "We're looking at Al-Qaeda as the prime suspect," said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, a United States military spokesman. [18]

On September 3, 2007, the U.S. military reportedly killed the suspected mastermind of the bombings, Abu Mohammed al-Afri. [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tal Afar Place in Nineveh Governorate, Iraq

Tal Afar is a city and district in the Nineveh Governorate of northwestern Iraq, 63 km west of Mosul, 52 km east of Sinjar and 200 km north west of Kirkuk.

Sinjar Place in Iraq

Sinjar is a town in the Sinjar District of the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq. It is located about five kilometers south of the Sinjar Mountains. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 88,023. The town is one of the main settlement areas of the Yazidis and is also home to Sunni Muslim Arabs and Turkmens and Christians.

Events in the year 2007 in Iraq.

Murder of Dua Khalil Aswad Iraqi "honor killing" victim

Du'a Khalil Aswad was a 17-year-old Iraqi girl of the Yazidi faith who was stoned to death in northern Iraq in early April 2007, the victim of an honor killing. It is believed that she was killed around 7 April 2007, but the incident did not come to light until video of the stoning, apparently recorded on multiple cell phones, appeared on the Internet. The rumor that the stoning was connected to her alleged conversion to Islam prompted reprisals against Yazidis by Sunnis, including the 2007 Mosul massacre.

Til Ezer Village in Ninawa, Iraq

Til Ezer is a Yazidi village located in the Sinjar District of the Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq. The village is located south of the Sinjar Mount. It belongs to the disputed territories of Northern Iraq. It was one of two villages targeted in the 2007 Yazidi communities bombings against the local Yazidi community.

The 2008 Nineveh campaign was a series of offensives and counter-attacks between insurgent and Coalition forces for control of the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq in early-to-mid-2008. Some fighting also occurred in the neighboring Kirkuk Governorate.

Yazidis Ethnoreligious group or Kurdish minority mostly of northern Iraq

Yazidis (also written as Yezidis are an endogamous and mostly Kurmanji-speaking minority, indigenous to Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The majority of Yazidis remaining in the Middle East today live in Iraq, primarily in the Nineveh and Dohuk governorates. There is a disagreement on whether Yazidis are a religious Kurdish sub-group or an ethno-religious group among both scholars and Yazidis themselves. The Yazidi religion is monotheistic and can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamian religions and it also has some similarities with Abrahamic religions.

Sinjar District District in Nineveh, Iraq

The Sinjar District is a district of the Nineveh Governorate. The district seat is the town of Sinjar. The district has two subdistricts, al-Shemal and al-Qayrawan. The district is one of two major population centers for Yazidis, the other being Shekhan District.

Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013) Iraqi insurgency since the withdrawal of U.S. troops

The Iraqi insurgency, later referred to as the Iraq Crisis, escalated in 2011, resulting in violent conflict with the central government, as well as sectarian violence among Iraq's religious groups.

2013 Nineveh governorate election Iraqi election

The 2013 Nineveh Governorate election in Iraq was held on 20 June with elections for the Al Anbar Governorate. Due to security problems, turnout was less than half that of the 2009 election. This election saw Sunni Arab parties lose a number of seats to minority parties.

War in Iraq (2014-2017) Armed conflict in the Middle East

The War in Iraq (2014-2017) was an armed conflict which began in January 2014 and ended in December 2017. In 2014, the Iraqi insurgency escalated into a full-scale war with the conquest of Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and in the major areas of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. At its height, ISIL held 56,000 square kilometers of Iraqi territory, containing 4.5 million citizens. This resulted in the forced resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as well as a massive airstrike campaign by the United States and at least a dozen other countries, participation of American and Canadian troops in ground combat operations, a $3.5 billion U.S.-led program to rearm the Iraqi Security Forces, a U.S.-led training program that provided training to nearly 200,000 Iraqi soldiers and police, the participation of Iranian troops including armored and air elements, and military and logistical aid provided to Iraq by Russia.

History of Iraq (2011–present)

The departure of US troops from Iraq in 2011 ended the period of occupation that had begun with the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. The time since U.S. withdrawal has been marked by a renewed Iraqi insurgency and by a spillover of the Syrian civil war into Iraq. By 2013, the insurgency escalated into a renewed civil war, the central government of Iraq being opposed by various factions, primarily radical Sunni forces.

Between 1 and 15 August 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) expanded northern Iraqi territories under their control. In the region north and west from Mosul, ISIL conquered Zumar, Sinjar, Wana, Mosul Dam, Tel Keppe, Batnaya and Kocho, in the regions south and east of Mosul the towns Bakhdida, Karamlish, Bartella and Makhmour.

The following lists events that happened during 2014 in Iraq.

Timeline of the Iraq War (2014)

The Timeline of the War in Iraq covers the War in Iraq, a war which erupted that lasted in Iraq from 2014 to 2017, during the first year of armed conflict.

In early 2014, the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured extensive territory in Western Iraq in the Anbar campaign, while counter-offensives against it were mounted in Syria. Raqqa in Syria became its headquarters. The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million people lived under its control in the two countries.

Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL Genocide carried out by ISIL

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is recognized by the United Nations as the perpetrator of a genocide of Yazidis in Sinjar, Iraq. The genocide led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Iraqi Kurdistan. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and thousands of Yazidi men were killed. Five thousand Yazidi civilians were killed during what has been called a "forced conversion campaign" being carried out by ISIL in Northern Iraq. The genocide began following the withdrawal of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Peshmerga militia, which left the Yazidis defenseless.

Sheikh Khairy Khedr was the Commander and founder of the Yazidi militia Malik Al-Tawus Troop, which later became the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ). He was born in Siba Sheikh Khidir (Jazeera).

Siba Sheikh Khidir Village in Ninawa, Iraq

Siba Sheikh Khidir is a Yazidi village located in the Sinjar District of the Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq. The village is located south of the Sinjar Mount. It belongs to the disputed territories of Northern Iraq. It was one of two villages targeted in the 2007 Yazidi communities bombings against the local Yazidi community.

References

  1. 1 2 Report of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom on Iraq (PDF) (Report). December 2008. p. 12. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Oehring, Otmar (2017). "Christians and Yazidis in Iraq: Current Situation and Prospects". Kas.de. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. p. 15. ISBN   978-3-95721-351-8 . Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Atwan, Abdel Bari (2013). After Bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation. The New Press. p. 215. ISBN   9781595588999.
  4. "Worst terrorist strikes—worldwide". www.johnstonsarchive.net. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. Arwa Damon, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Raja Razek, "Iraqi officials: Truck bombings killed at least 500," CNN.com Archived November 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "General Calls Attack on Yazidis 'Ethnic Cleansing'" . Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  7. "Minority targeted in Iraq bombings". 15 August 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2016 via bbc.co.uk.
  8. "Login" . Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  9. "How suicide bombings shattered Iraq – Secret Iraq Files – Al Jazeera English" . Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  10. Stephen Farell, "Death Toll in Iraq Bombings Rises to 250", New York Times (August 15, 2007).
  11. Amnesty International (April 27, 2007). Iraq: Amnesty International appalled by stoning to death of Yezidi girl and subsequent killings Archived May 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . Press release. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  12. "Yazidis Live Among Reminders of Deadly Attack" . Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  13. "Deadly Iraq sect attacks kill 200". 15 August 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2016 via bbc.co.uk.
  14. Dozens killed in multiple suicide attacks in Iraq – CNN.com Archived August 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  15. "Iraqi Interior Ministry: 400 killed in suicide bombings in northern Iraq" . Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  16. "Shiites, Kurds form alliance; 4 Iraqi kids found in rubble of bombed area - USATODAY.com" . Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  17. "Killings stoke tension in Iraq city", AlJazeera.net Archived August 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. "Al-Qaeda blamed for Yazidi carnage". Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  19. AFP: Qaeda militant behind deadliest Iraq attack killed: US Archived November 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine