Members of the Turkish-backed Failaq al-Sham armed group, accompanied by settlers in the Afrin region, in northern Syria, destroyed a shrine in a Yazidi village.
Yesterday, Saturday, the Human Rights Organization – Afrin, in the northern countryside of Aleppo, reported that militants of the Turkish-backed Failaq al-Sham armed group along with settlers living in the village of Basofan destroyed parts of the Sheikh Ali shrine using bulldozers, while saying the Takbir (a common Islamic saying that “God is great”), claiming that the shrine belongs to atheists and infidels.
The Ezdina website stated that this incident aims to provoke the Yazidis in Afrin and to push the rest of them to flee their areas and villages, or to force them and compel them to convert to Islam.
Activists have published photos on social media, which they said that they were the ones destroying the dome of the shrine of the Yazidi Sheikh Ali, located in the village of Basofan in the Shirawa district in the Afrin region.
The Sheikh Ali shrine is located near the middle school in the eastern side of the village of Basofan, and armed groups stole and destroyed its contents in January 2019.
The destruction of the of the Sheikh Ali shrine by armed groups is one of the actions among a series of other violations against Yazidis in the Afrin region, according to human rights reports.
Aziza Khanafer, the co-chair of the Office of Religions and Beliefs in North and East Syria, told North Press earlier that "four Yazidi shrines have been subjected to complete systematic destruction in Afrin."
These are the Sheikh Hameed shrine, Parsa Khatun shrine, the Malik Adi shrine, and the Sheikh Gharib shrine .
The number of Yazidi shrines in Afrin exceeds eighteen, most of which, according to the Ezdina foundation's monitoring team, were subjected to destruction or vandalism, in addition to having their contents looted.