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Sinjar
32 31 49N 44 24 41E

Sinjar is a small town in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border, with an estimate population in the 1965 census of about 8,000 residents.

The wall and other evidence at a huge mound in northeastern Syria known as Tell Hamoukar indicate a complex government dating back at least 6,000 years. It has been known for some time that the Sinjar valley belonged to the Northern Ubaid culture. In the Sinjar plain, where Tell Hamoukar is located, civilizations are known to have existed many centuries earlier (Hassuna, Halaf, Ubaid). More than 200 sites are known.

Narses's humiliating defeat by Diocletian in 297 CE had resulted in the cession of five Persian provinces in upper Mesopotamia to the Romans. Roman rule over these provinces compromised the security of the Sassanian state. Roman strongholds like Singara (Sinjar) and Bezabde (Jezireh) in northern Mesopotamia strengthened defenses against Persian incursions, and ensured that the Persian capital remained vulnerable to Roman thrusts down the valleys of the Euphrates or Tigris Rivers.

The Yezidis are Sun worshippers. By religious conviction they worship the sun and the personified belief bears the name of Sharfadin. Sharfadin himself was a historical personality whose tomb is in Sinjar [Singare]. He appears to be the founder of the Yezidian religion. Their religious and secular leader is 'mir' ('mireh shekha'), the residence is in Iraq. The total number of the Yezidis in the world surpasses 2,000,000. The major areas of the Yezidis residence are: Iraq - regions of Sinjar, Shangal and Sheykhan; Turkey - Mubin, Diyarbekir, Mush, Sasun, Bitlis, Van; as well as Iran, Syria, Georgia, Russia, Germany. The Yezidis, who live mainly in Northern Iraq, Turkey, and the Caucasus, are not a national or ethnic group, but believers in Yezidism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism; in other ethno-cultural terms, it is a Kurdish movement, and they predominantly speak Kurdish, primarily the Kurmanci dialect.

The Kurdish Region of Iraq includes the Provinces of Kirkuk, Sulaimaniyah and Erbil within their administrative boundaries before 1970 and the Province of Duhok and the districts of Aqra, Sheihkan, Sinjar and the sub-district of Zimar in the Province of Ninevah and the districts of Khaniqin and Mandali in the Province of Diyala and the district of Badra in the Province of Al-Wasit.

On 05 February 2003 two UNMOVIC multidisciplinary teams, based in Baghdad and in Mosul, both inspected cement production facilities. The Baghdad team inspected the Heti Readymade Concrete, roughly 25 km west of Baghdad, and the Mosul team inspeted the Sinjar Cement Factory near Mosul. The Mosul-based joint inspection team of 11 visited the Sinjar Cement Factory belonging to MIM. Inspectors asked the factory's director about the "former and present name of the factory," its ownership, and employees. UNMOVIC did not provide details on this inspection. On 14 March 2003 a Mosul-based joint inspection team went to a destroyed ballistic-missile launch site west of Mosul, UNMOVIC reported. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated that the site was in the Sinjar area.

Camp Sinjar (Retrans)

Sinjar, near the Syrian border, was the site of an old Iraqi training compound. The Iraqi military training compound had not seen much use since Desert Storm and was looted and vandalized during the war. The barracks where Iraqis trained is the home in Sinjar for soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in late 2003. The soldiers have access to a make-shift internet caf, which works only half the time, and a barber shop where they can get a haircut from an Iraqi Barber for $2. There's a mess hall, serving three home-cooked meals a day.

The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center sent the cadre of its sniper course to northern Iraq to train the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in skills that have proved to be useful during combat operations. The sniper course normally runs at Camp Robinson, North Little Rock, AR. The version being run in Iraq has been changed to suit the environment. The sniper school was set up in the Sinjar region of northwest Iraq because of its vast prairies. The openness of the landscape lends itself well to the long firing ranges that had to be built to accommodate the weapons training in the course, said Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, command sergeant major, 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

In mid-October 2003 operations to prevent infiltrations into Iraq were continuing. Operation Chamberlain is designed to provide the Iraqi people with a stable and secure border in order to maintain territorial integrity. In this vein, coalition forces recently intercepted smugglers trying to cross the border southwest of Sinjar. As coalition forces approached the group, the smugglers opened fire on our forces. While some of the smugglers escaped, several of them were detained, and in the operation we seized weapons and a pickup truck. Other border operations have resulted in the detention of similar individuals trying to illegally cross into Iraq with weapons and money. By the end of October 2003 commanders of the US forces monitoring the border between Iraq and Syria said there was no evidence from human intelligence sources or radar surveillance aircraft indicating that significant numbers of foreign fighters were crossing into Iraq.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) continue to graduate police officers from academies throughout the Mosul area while 1st Armored Division soldiers are training the Iraqi Police Services in modern policing techniques. The 101st AAD's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, nicknamed the "Rakassans," graduated 60 police officers 26 July 2003 from their academy in Sinjar. The new police officers will serve as future cadre for the academy. The giant Sinjar cement plant in northern Iraq is up and running again, 665 workers back on the job. Written off at the end of the war, the aging plant was looted, inoperable, until General David Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne, heard about it. Instead of spending millions on a contract, the 101st took just $10,000 of Saddam Hussein's frozen assets and gave it to the plant managers. Soldiers watched in amazement as the Iraqis cannibalized old machines for parts, fashioned new ones and got the factory running again by 15 September 2003. The plant is currently operating at 50 percent capacity and still turns out 50,000 tons of cement a day. Plans are in place to refurbish the second of two production lines.

Soldiers with the 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), oversaw the installation of a satellite in Sinjar, allowing locals to communicate with U.S. soldiers for the first time ever. The satellite was installed on a communications tower in the city in northwest Iraq 01 October 2003. The telephone signal covers most of northern Iraq and south to Mosul. The ability to stay in contact with soldiers benefits both Iraqis and soldiers. Not only can Iraqis call in case of emergencies, they can offer tips such as the whereabouts of terrorists or report other suspicious acts.

More than 100 parents and sick children waited outside the Sinjar General Hospital 23 October 2003, anxiously awaiting the opening of the first children's clinic north of Mosul. Medics from 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) oversaw construction efforts by local contractors of the Sinjar Clinic for Children. The facility, which falls under the hospital's supervision, became the first exclusively pediatric health care center in the 187th's area of operations with its grand opening ceremony Oct. 23. The only other children's clinic in northern Iraq is in Mosul.

Fort Stark

Fort Stark is located in Sinjar, 65 miles west of Mosul near the Syrian border-crossing at Rabiah.





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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:50:33 ZULU