The Tuesday truck bombs that targeted the villages of Qahtaniya, al-Jazeera and Tal Uzair, in northern Iraq near the border with Syria, were a “trademark al Qaeda event” designed to sway U.S. public opinion against the war, a U.S. general said Wednesday.
The attacks, targeting Kurdish villages of the Yazidi religious minority, were attempts to “break the will” of the American people and show that the U.S. troop escalation — the “surge” — is failing, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said.
“The attack came as no surprise to us,” Prince Tahseen Sayid Ali, the temporal leader of the Yezidis, told the Guardian in his headquarters in Sheikhan, about 40 miles north-east of Mosul. Last April, the community came under the international spotlight when a Yezidi girl married a Muslim boy and was reported to have converted to Islam. She was promptly stoned to death by a mob in her hometown of Bazan. The murder was caught on a mobile phone camera and distributed on the internet. Yezidi leaders condemned the killing, but the damage was done. In response, gunmen pulled 23 Yezidi workers off a bus near Mosul and shot them dead. Hundreds of Yezidi students at Mosul university have since either fled or moved to universities inside the Kurdish autonomous area. For the past month, said Prince Tahseen, Yezidi leaders in Sinjar had been complaining of threats by Islamists. They said the militants, holed up among local Sunni Arab settlements along the Syrian border, had effectively blockaded Yezidi towns, preventing delivery of foodstuffs and fuel.
“The Islamic terrorists had made it very clear that they wanted to see rivers of Yezidi blood,” said Prince Tahseen. But no one, least of all the US army, which is nominally in control of the region, was listening.
Silly Yezidis. Don’t they know that it’s all about domestic political concerns in the USA?