Sinjar District

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Sinjar District

Yezidi Temple on Sinjar, 2004.
Yezidi Temple on Sinjar, 2004.
Sinjar district (orange) in Ninawa
Sinjar district (orange) in Ninawa
Coordinates: 36°19′21″N 41°51′51″E / 36.32250°N 41.86417°E / 36.32250; 41.86417Coordinates: 36°19′21″N 41°51′51″E / 36.32250°N 41.86417°E / 36.32250; 41.86417
Country Iraq
Royal Decree 41934
 • Total2,928 km2 (1,131 sq mi)
 • Total166,466
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)

The Sinjar District (Kurdish: شنگال‎, romanized: Şingal[1][2]) is a district of the Nineveh Governorate. The district seat is the town of Sinjar. The district has two subdistricts, al-Shemal and al-Qayrawan. The district is one of two major population centers for Yazidis, the other being Shekhan District.[3]


Sinjar District was created in 1934 by Royal decree.[4] After the 1935 Yazidi revolt, the district was placed under military control.[5][6]

The al-Shamal district, originally formed in 1936, was abolished in 1987, and its area was added to Sinjar. Qayrawan was formed as a district in 1977, was also abolished in 1987, and was added to the district.[4] In 1994, al-Shamal and Qayrawan were reformed as a sub-districts.[4]

In 2007, several explosions set off by al-Qaeda in Iraq killed hundreds of Yazidis in Shengal.[3]

In August 2014, the Siege of Mount Sinjar raged between Sunni militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Kurdish Peshmerga, leading to a mass exodus of residents, especially from the Yazidi community, branded by the Islamic State as "devil worshipers", after the Peshmerga was defeated.[7] The New York Times reported that ISIL killed dozens of Yazidi men and forced their women to marry jihadi fighters."[8]

A Kurdish Peshmerga-led Sinjar offensive occurred from December 17 to 21, 2014, which included the ending of the siege of Mount Sinjar and freeing the district from ISIL control.

According to Kurdish sources, nine Yazidi mass graves had been found by the end of the offensive. Eighteen Yazidi shrines have also been destroyed by ISIL militants since June 2014.[9] As additional graves were found, masked Yazidis retaliated against assumed ISIL collaborators in four Muslim villages in late January 2015 with Sibaya and Chiri attacked on January 25 and Khazuga and Sayer on January 26. PKK and YPG/YPJ joint forces were able to stop additional attacks on two more villages after Peshmerga fled the area.[10]

It was announced on October 17, 2017 that the area had returned to Iraqi government control.[11]


The district borders and is a crossing point with Syria.[12] The district is 136 km from Mosul city, the capital of the Nineveh Governorate.[4] The Sinjar Mountains are located in the district.


The district's economy is primarily based on agriculture with the main crops being barley, figs, wheat, and tobacco. In the villages of Ain al-Ghazal and Hayali exist oil fields, which were closed because of the Iraq war. Natural gas and heavy minerals exist in the Sinjar Mountains.[4]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rêsan Ḧesen (2011). Şingal: wek qutabxana sitrana filklorî ya Kurdî (in Kurdish).
  2. ^ "Şingal ... شنگال". (in Kurdish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b Shefler, Gil (August 7, 2014). "Islamic State accused of capturing Yazidi women and forcing them to convert, or else". Washington Post. Religion News Service. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Report on the Administrative Changes in Kirkuk and the Disputed Regions" (PDF). Kurdistan Regional Government. December 2007. p. 42. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Fuccaro, Nelinda. Ethnicity, State Formation, and Conscription in Postcolonial Iraq: The Case of the Yazidi Kurds of Jabal Sinjar. International Journal of Middle East Studies Vol. 29, No. 4 (November 1997), pp. 559–580.
  7. ^ Loveday Morris (3 August 2014). "Islamic State seizes town of Sinjar, pushing out Kurds and sending Yazidis fleeing". Washington Post. WP website. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  8. ^ Jihadists Rout Kurds in North and Seize Strategic Iraqi Dam. By Tim Arango. August 7, 2014
  9. ^ "Nine mass graves of Iraq's Yezidis found in Sinjar, official says". DPA News. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Coles, Isabel (February 10, 2015). "Iraqi Yazidis take revenge as Islamic State atrocities unearthed". Reuters. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  11. ^
  12. ^ A map of its borders is to be found on page 36 of: "Report on the Administrative Changes in Kirkuk and the Disputed Regions" (PDF). Kurdistan Regional Government. December 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2015.