confirmed displacement and destruction in Iraq: ISIS’s ethnic cleansing of Shia Turkmen

As I learned from Allison Cuneo (@AECuneo, who has worked extensively on and in Iraq), Human Rights Watch have secured multiple, independent, consistent testimonies of displacement of Shia Turkmen communities and destruction of their cultural property. Within this campaign of ethnic cleansing, ISIS (1) have also destroyed a site that was commonly venerated by Shia Muslims, Christians and (Kurdish) Yezidis (who practice a syncretic religion that reconciles Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and other faiths).

Guba and Shireekhan

Between 23rd and 25th of June, Iraqi and non-Iraqi ISIS fighters detained around 60 suspected Shia Turkmen men from the villages of Guba and Shireekhan near Mosul; they released 20 Sunnis, then kidnapped the remaining 40. They expelled 950 Shia Turkmen families, so only the villages’ Sunni minority remain, and ‘ransacked’ the ethnically cleansed families’ homes. On the 24th of June, ‘ISIS placed explosives in Imam Abbas’ shrine’ and al-Ridha mosque in Guba, and in al-Zahraa mosque and al-Imam Hussein mosque in Shireekhan, and ‘dynamited’ them, ‘blew them up’.

Tal Afar

On the 25th of June, ISIS destroyed the Shia shrine of Imam Sa’ad, the Shia shrine of Khider al-Elias (where Shia Muslims, Christians and Yezidis worshipped), and the mosque of Hashim Antr in Tal Afar (west of Mosul); on the 26th, they destroyed the mosques of Imam Sadiq, al-Abbas, Ar Mahmoud and Ahl al-Beit.

Notes

1: the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL); in Arabic, Da’ash, Da’esh or Da’ish.

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9 Responses to “confirmed displacement and destruction in Iraq: ISIS’s ethnic cleansing of Shia Turkmen”

  1. Any photos of the destruction available yet?

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