Tonight, the 1st of my 2-part series on #ISIS’s resurgence in Iraq airs on @PBS@NewsHour Weekend. In cooperation w/ @theIFUND, I spent 3 weeks traveling across 3 provinces to investigate the extent to which ISIS has regrouped after its official defeat last year.
In August, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi released a new audio recording in which he pointed to #Iraq as the epicenter of #ISIS's resurgence. The facts on the ground suggest that this is not just an ambition the group aspires to in the future - it’s already a reality.
ISIS attacks in the rural areas around Tuz Khurmatu, Kirkuk and Hawija aren’t an exception - they’ve become an almost daily occurrence for the civilians who live there. What’s more - #Iraq’s security forces appear ill-equipped to face #ISIS in its insurgent form.
1) Today—on the 4th anniversary of the Kocho Massacre, when #IS slaughtered an entire town as part of the Yazidi Genocide—#Turkey bombed a #Yazidi convoy in #Sinjar that was returning from the Kocho Massacre memorial ceremony, killing Mam Zaki, an important Yazidi #PKK leader.
2) The convoy contained leaders & members of the Yazidi #YBŞ defense force and affiliated political institutions, including Mazlum Shingal, the military commander of the #YBŞ, who—like Mam Zaki—is also a #Yazidi. Mazlum (shown in photo) was injured but not killed in the attack.
3) A #Yazidi from #Sinjar (Tel Ezeir) named Harbo, a member of the Self-Administrative Council (a local governing institution that is a civilian political counterpart to the YBŞ defense force), was injured in the attack. Two others were killed; their identities are not yet known.