Yazidi families were seen returning to their homes in the northern Iraqi town of Sinun, near Sinjar, on Thursday, after being displaced for six years because of the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIL/ISIS).
«After six years, we Yazidis are coming back to Sinjar, to the land of our ancestors,» said Sinjar native Khalil Salu. «My hope is that all the people who are left come back to, to their houses, to their land. Other places are useless, even if we build a house in another place, it will never be our homeland.»
«Dozens of families are coming back to Sinjar from the Kurdistan region. But when they come back, those families face obstacles in every step of the process,» said Sinun district leader Khadida Jouki. «They face obstacles both from the Iraqi and the Kurdish side. They have to cross several checkpoints, where they are made to wait for hours. Sometimes, even for days.»
The Yazidis, an ethnic minority in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, were targeted by IS in Sinjar in 2014, in what the United Nations considers to have been a genocide.