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Yezidi Temple in Sinjar, 2004.
Yezidi Temple in Sinjar, 2004.
Sinjar is located in Iraq
Location within Iraq.
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 (de jure)
Governorate Nineveh
District Sinjar
Elevation 522 m (1,713 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 21,584
Time zone Arabia Standard Time (UTC+3)

Sinjar (Arabic: سنجار‎, Sorani Kurdish: شنگال Şingal, Syriac: ܫܝܓܪ šiggar) is a town in northwestern Iraq's Ninawa Governorate on Mount Sinjar near the Syrian border. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 23,023.[1] The town is mainly inhabited by Yezidis with Arab and Assyrian minorities.

The important Chermera temple (meaning "40 Men") is found at the highest peak of the Sinjar mountains.

A huge mound and wall in northeastern Syria known as Tell Hamoukar indicate an urban civilization dating back at least 6,000 years. 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.

Some sources mention the city as the location of the Christian saint Abd-al-Masih's martyrdom. Ibn al-Akfani was born in Sinjar.[2]

The initial scenes of the 1973 film The Exorcist were filmed in Sinjar.[3]

In August 2014, the Battle of Sinjar raged between Sunni militants of Islamic State and Kurdish Peshmerga, leading to a mass exodus of residents, especially from the Yezidi community, branded by Islamic State as "devil worshipers", after the Peshmerga was defeated.[4] The New York Times reported that "ISIS executed dozens of Yazidi men, and kept the dead men’s wives [alive] for unmarried jihadi fighters."[5]

See also[edit]