Turkish forces and opposition groups destroy nine Yazidi shrines in Afrin

North-Press Agency
Nouraddin Ahmad


On Sunday, co-chair of the Legislative Council of Afrin region, Suleiman Jaafar, said that the number of Yazidi shrines that have been destroyed by Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition groups has reached nine so far.

Jaafar, a Yazidi from the village of Basoufan in the Sherawa district, southern Afrin, said to North Press that members of the Turkish-backed armed opposition groups destroyed the dome of Sheikh Ali shrine in the village of Basoufan two days ago, making the number of the shrines destroyed by them nine.

He noted that members of the Turkish-backed armed opposition groups “dug up the shrine, which dates back to the first century AD, and opened the tomb of Sheikh Ali in search of gold and treasures, and now, the dome is destroyed."


Human Rights Organization – Afrin, in the northern countryside of Aleppo, confirmed on Saturday that militants of the Failaq al-Sham group, along with settlers residing in Basoufan village, destroyed parts of the dome of Sheikh Ali shrine using a bulldozer amid high voices shouting “Allah Akbar”, describing the shrine as a place for atheists and infidels.

Jaafar indicated that the shrines, which were destroyed by Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition groups in Afrin region are Sheikh Barakat shrine on top of the Sheikh Mount southern Simeon Castle, Sheikh Hamid and Parsa Khatoun in Qastal-Jendo village in Sharra district, the shrine of Sinka village and Qara-Jorn shrine near Midanki in Sharra district, Malak-Adi shrine in Qibar village, Sheikh Jneid shrine in Faqira village in Jinderis district, Seikh Rakab shrine in Shadeiry village, and Sheikh Ali shrine in Basoufan.


For his part, Zinar Jaafar, a journalist from the village of Basoufan, said: “The Turkish army and its affiliated armed groups are taking up position in the village of Basoufan, which means that they are aware of what is happening, as there are plans to eliminate Yazidis in Afrin.”


Yazidis in Afrin are distributed in 22 villages, but there are no accurate statistics about their number in Syria, while according to a previous report issued by the Human Rights Organization – Afrin, the number of the Yazidis is about 25,000.

The number of Yazidi shrines in Afrin exceeds 18, most of which have been subjected to destruction and demolition in addition to the theft of their property.