Foreign Relations Commission
Yazidis in Afrin
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The Yazidis have a historical presence in Syria that goes back to thousands of years, and they are indigenous to the region. Despite attempts to obliterate the Yazidi identity and history and to hide and distort archaeological sites, archaeological discoveries in several areas of Syria, including the “Lilon Mountains” in the Syrian northwest, The Yezidi religious symbols found on the walls of the temples and the monuments discovered in Afrin are the best proof of the existence of Yezidis there.
As the Syrian revolution turned and was derailed by radical Islamic thought, the Yezidi Kurds panicked, some of whom emigrated outside of Rojava. After the Shangal massacre in 2014 and what happened to the Yezidi Kurds there, most of the Yezidi Kurds emigrated to save their lives from the Takfiris. But after the formation of Democratic Self-Administration, which recognized for the first time in the history of Syria the Yezidi religion, and with the presence of YPG, the Yezidi Kurds felt safe for the first time in their history and the rest of them settled in their villages and practiced their normal lives.
It seems that the colonial mentality of the Turkish state refuses to let people live safely in the country. Since 2013, Turkey has issued orders to the jihadist and Salafist groups that carry out orders to harass the Yezidi Kurds to leave their villages. For four years, these groups have been attacking Yezidi villages with various types of weapons to force the Yezidis out of their villages.
• The presence of Yezidi in Afrin and their numbers:
The Yazidi Kurds have been and still are subjected to campaigns of extermination and displacement by the successive Syrian governments over the years because of their adherence to their nationality and belief. These governments systematically pressured them to abandon their religion. They used to manipulate the religion box and register 2
the Yezidi Kurds contrary to their religion. Since decades, Yezidis have migrated outside Syria to preserve their faith. After there were 58 Yezidi villages in Afrin region in the 1930s, the number of villages has decreased to 22.
After the number of Yezidi Kurds in that period was about 75 thousand, now shrinking to about twenty thousand only, living in the following villages:
Basufan – Pavlon – Aleqina – Faqira – the percentage of Yezidis is 100%.
Qustal Jendo percentage of Yezidis is 90%.
Qibar – Ghazawia – Burj Abdalu – the percentage of Yezidis is 60%.
Qatme – Ain Dara – Trindi – Sinka – the percentage of Yezidis is 50%.
Kafrazit, Iska, Shadir, Kimar, Jagla, Ashka Sharqia, Qajoma – Qila – Ba’i. The percentage of Yezidis is less than 30%, and there are large numbers living in the city of Jandreis, Afrin and Aleppo.
The most important Yezidi shrines in Afrin: Sheikh Barakat shrine:
In ancient times it was called Greek mountain (Corriva or Corifus) meaning (summit) and is located at the summit of Mount Sheikh Barakat 30 km south of Afrin .