On Saturday bulldozers finally opened the Suhela Road, the main road to Sinjar from Dohuk. This road is important and essential for people that want to travel to Sinjar (Shingal), especially Yazidi IDPs who live in camps in the Kurdistan Regional Government areas and have found it difficult to return over the last three years since Sinjar was liberated.
Kurdistan24 showed images of the road being opened with a bulldozer moving aside a berm. The berms were erected during October 2017 when the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi re-occupied Kirkuk and Sinjar and Kurdish Peshmerga left. Since then Sinjar has seen difficulties. There was controversy over the return of Arab tribes. Turkey has twice launched airstrikes in Sinjar, most recently on December 13, claiming the PKK has not left the area. In addition Iraq security forces have been in transition with varying layers of administration.
Residents who tried to return complain of lack of medical services and being forced to drive to Mosul. Yazidis were massacred by ISIS and sold into slavery in Mosul and don’t want to go there for services. There are also 20 checkpoints along the road via Mosul to Sinjar. Baghdad and Erbil have discussed Sinjar but no agreement has been made.
Nadia Murad has said she will use the money from her Nobel Prize to help open a hospital in Sinjar.
The question now is whether the opening of the road will lead to real progress in Sinjar.