Sinjar, also known as Shingal (Arabic: سنجار, Kurdish: Shingal, Ancient Greek: Singara) is a town in the Sinjar District of the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq. It is located near the Sinjar Mountain. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 88,023. The town is inhabited by Yazidis and is one of the main settlement areas of the Yazidis.
|• Mayor||Fahad Hamid Omar|
|Elevation||522 m (1,713 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (GMT)|
In the 2nd century A.D., Sinjar became a military base and part of the Roman limes, and it remained part of the Roman Empire until it was sacked by the Sassanids in 360 A.D. At the beginning of 6th century A.D., it was inhabited by a tribe called Qadišaiē (Kαδίσηυοι). It was conquered by the Muslim Arabs led by Iyad ibn Ghanm.
Northern Iraq Offensive (2014)
In the course of their second Northern Iraq offensive in August 2014, ISIL conquered large areas of Nineveh province. Following the escape of the Kurdish Peshmerga they seized the city of Shingal on 3 August. During the following days, IS militants perpetrated the Sinjar massacre, killing 2,000 Yazidi men and taking Yazidi women into slavery, leading to a mass exodus of Yazidi residents. According to a UN report, 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed during ISIL's August offensive. It is also known as the genocide of Yazidis by ISIL. The genocide could only happen because the Kurdish Peshmerga had fled from the ISIS and left the Yazidis defenseless.
On the night of 20 December 2014, in the course of a first offensive to retake it from Islamic State militants, Kurdish forces pushed into the city of Sinjar. However, the Kurdish advance into the city was stalled, as they faced fierce resistance from the ISIL militants inside the southern half of the city.
On 13 November 2015, a day after launching a major second offensive, Kurdish forces and Yazidi militias backed by US airstrikes, entered the city and fully regained its control from ISIL. Following the recapture, in nearby hamlet of Solagh, east of Sinjar city, Kurdish forces found a mass grave with the remains of at least 78 Yazidi women from Kocho village believed to be executed by ISIL militants.
In August 2017, the Yazidis of Sinjar declared their government autonomous at a press conference. Peshmerga forces withdrew from Sinjar on October 17, 2017, allowing the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) to enter the town. The control of the town was handed over to the PMU-backed Yazidi group called "Lalesh Brigades" after Peshmerga's withdrawal.
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